Senate Supermarket Inquiry Recommends Grocery Price Transparency

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The 14 recommendations of a Senate Select Committee inquiry into supermarket prices included several aimed at increasing the transparency of retail grocery prices for consumers.

These recommendations included (in Recommendation 9 ) that:

The Australian Government amend the Unit Pricing Code made under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, so that supermarkets are required to:

  • adopt a mandatory information standard for unit pricing, including improvements to the legibility and prominence of unit prices, and changes in price and size of products, in line with consumer expectations;
  • standardise and rationalise discount and promotional terms, to prevent promotional material indicating a discount when one is not available; and
  • prominently disclose any changes in the price or size of a product.

And that:

The Australian Government ensure the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is provided with sufficient regulatory and enforcement powers regarding the Unit Pricing Code.

These recommendations largely reflect requests in submissions by the CFA and several CFA members, including CHOICE, Queensland Consumers Association, and Combined Pensioners and Superannuitants Association (NSW) – plus National Seniors, and Professor Harmen Oppewal and Dr Jun Yao, for changes to improve grocery retailer provision of information about a range of matters including:

  • Unit prices (price per unit of measure)
  • Discounts and other promotions
  • Shrinkflation (increase in unit price due entirely or partly to pack content reduction)
  • Price changes over time.

However, these recommendations are unlikely to be actioned soon because, in additional comments included in the report, the government members of the committee recommended that that no action be taken on them until after completion of the ACCC’s supermarkets inquiry which is due to submit its final report by 28 February 2025.

For the full list of recommendations or to read the full report see the official Parliamentary webpage here: