Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Supermarket fine print aims to ease cost-of-living pressure

The Government is proposing new unit pricing measures for supermarkets in a bid to improve competition at the checkout.

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Duncan Webb said cost-of-living was the number one issue for the Government.

“And the rising cost of groceries is an issue we are working to address. We’re putting new rules in place to give better information to consumers about the best deal for their needs,” Dr Webb said.

“We are proposing to introduce rules that require supermarkets to clearly display unit pricing – such as the price of a product per kilogram or litre.”

Minister Webb said New Zealanders need this information to make informed choices when they shop.

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

“Along with helping shoppers make informed decisions about what they buy, this will also support inter-brand competition and encourage grocery retailers to compete on value,” said Dr Webb.

“Once in force, unit pricing will be mandatory in supermarkets. It will also be required in online grocery stores and in some forms of advertising.”

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) has opened consultation on the draft regulations that will put this new unit pricing standard in place. The consultation will run for four weeks and closes on 12 May 2023.

Unit pricing in supermarkets has been in operation across Australia for several years.

For more information on the regulations, visit MBIE’s website: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/seeking-feedback-on-an-exposure-draft-of-the-consumer-information-standards-unit-pricing-for-grocery-products-regulations-2023.

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