The price choice: Consumers want comparative pricing, The ISO Project Committee aims to deliver just that

Ian Jarratt in Store

Ian Jarratt in Store











Ian Jarratt, an Executive member from the Consumers Federation of Australia, is the leading voice on the ISO Project Committee, who are creating a standard on Unit Pricing. Today, he sits with us to explain the importance of comparing prices for consumers. 

The unit price is the price of a product per unit of measure, for example $5.52 per kg for a pre-packaged 725g carton of breakfast cereal costing $4. It allows consumers to easily and quickly compare the price and value for money of pre-packaged and other products. For pre-packaged products it is provided in addition to the selling price. Unit prices often vary greatly, so by comparing unit prices consumers can substantially reduce how much they spend on products, or get more for the same amount of money.

However, a majority of the time, unit pricing on pre-packaged products is either not provided at all, or difficult to spot and understand. Therefore, consumers aren’t able to use them effectively. Consumers International (CI) is a liaison member of the ISO Project Committee 294 which is developing a guidance standard for the unit pricing of pre-packaged products. Ian discusses that there are numerous benefits from the development of a consumer oriented international unit pricing standard, including:

  • Facilitating improvements in the quality of the unit pricing of pre-packaged products currently provided by retailers compulsoily or voluntarily;
  • Encouraging the provision of effective unit pricing of pre-packaged products by more retailers;
  • Increasing and strengthening links with the unit pricing of products sold loose from bulk;
  • Increasing competition between retailers and between manufacturers;
  • Facilitating international consistency in the provision of unit pricing,

The ISO Committee will hold its second meeting from 19-21 April in Singapore to discuss the standard’s draft scope and principles. CI’s representative on the Committee is Ian Jarratt from Australia, with Standards Australia  providing the Secretariat. National standards bodies and interested ISO liaison organisations can get involved by contacting Steven Cooke at