Monday, May 27, 2024

New supermarket pricing rules check out for customers

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, David Clark, has announced new rules that will require large grocery retailers to display unit pricing more clearly and consistently.

The Minister said the move will make it easier for consumers to compare the price of grocery products at the supermarket.

“These new 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,” said Dr Clark.

The Minister said a Commerce Commission market study found that while major grocery retailers display unit pricing for many products they offer, it is not consistently used or displayed.

“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 this 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 that around 90% of the retail grocery market will need to display prominent, legible unit pricing that is easy for consumers to use. 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,” said Minister Clark.

“Along with helping shoppers to make informed decisions about what they buy, this new standard for unit pricing will also support inter-brand competition and encourage grocery retailers to compete on metrics such as price.

“This is another step this Government is taking to help ensure shoppers across Aotearoa New Zealand can get a fair deal at the checkout,” he said.

In early 2023, 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.

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