New rules to help supermarket shoppers

Business
The Government has announced new rules that will require supermarkets and other large grocery retailers to display unit pricing. File photo supplied

The Government is implementing rules that it says will make it easier for consumers to compare prices of groceries at the supermarket.

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark announced on December 19 the rules will require supermarkets and other large grocery retailers to “clearly and consistently display unit pricing, such as the price of a product per kilogram or litre”.

“The Commerce Commission’s market study found while the major grocery retailers display unit pricing for many products they offer, it is not consistently used or displayed,” he says.

“Our work on unit pricing will help shoppers to compare the prices of similar products and choose the best deal for their needs.

“It’s particularly helpful where products are sold in different sized packaging and by different brands.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for Kiwis to use unit pricing in their weekly shop.

“At a time where global factors continue to drive up the cost of living around the world, and high grocery prices are making it hard for New Zealanders right now, our work around unit pricing will mean shoppers can gauge whether something is good bang for buck.

“Supermarkets have been fleecing hard-working kiwis for too long.

“Their excess profits of more than $1 million a day cannot be justified.”

Under the new standard, unit pricing will be mandatory for grocery products sold in grocery stores with a floorspace above 1,000 square metres.

It will also be required in online grocery stores and in some forms of advertising.

“The new rules will mean around 90 percent of the retail grocery market will need to display prominent, legible unit pricing that is easy for consumers to use,” Clark says.

“This includes our major grocery retailers, along with new entrants and online retailers, if the thresholds are met.

“Stores with a smaller footprint, such as dairies, specialist retailers, and international supermarkets, will be excluded from the standard, unless they choose to comply voluntarily.”

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is expected to consult on technical details of the unit pricing standard to ensure it works effectively in practice in early 2023.

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