Are Coles In La La Land?

I sometimes wonder if the management at Coles are all in La La Land judging by some of their actions.
A great example is the price of pork roasts. A rolled pork leg roast is normally $7.95 Kg but a pork leg roast is normally $9.00 Kg.
I didn’t know pork leg bones were so valuable.
But I guess that they make up for it by charging $19.00 Kg for pork belly and $6.00 Kg for pork skin.


There’s an interesting article on the ‘free-rangeness’ of various animals/etc on Choice

Might be subscriber only - but I’ll quote the relevant part that put me off eating pig products at all:

It’s estimated that 97% of the 4.8 million pigs grown annually in Australia are raised indoors with no outdoor access. These farms are variously referred to as intensive, conventional or factory farms. Only the other three per cent of pigs are free range or farmed organically.


For pigs raised indoors, the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Pigs requires less than 1m² per 120kg pig.

I’m usually quite a fan of a good pork roast, or bacon, but this put me off somewhat …

It does seem their pricing is strange - I wonder what the back-story is? Something not as it seems perhaps?


Clicking your link took me to a 7 August 2014 updated article not 28 Jan 2015. I am a member but it did not require me to log in, and all the links I followed (did not try each and every) from the article also had free access. I logged in and the text was identical.


You may find that the rolled pork has a higher more skin/fat content than a leg. The rolled may be trimmed say to make it flatter and easier to roll with the excess used for other higher value products (diced for stirfries or mince).

If this is the case, the rolled roast could be seen as a cheaper (less nutritious) product than a whole leg. It could contain less muscle meat.

It would be interesting if the nutritional panels n are the same or reflect the above.

I must admit I prefer a bit of leg (with bone attached) rather than it being rolled. The bone adds flavour and is why many Asian (not western Asian but the real deal) and African dishes use meat on the bone.


Now you mention it, and purely anecdotally, that seems to ring true - I’d describe the boneless ones I have cooked as rather fatty - I think you’ve connected the dots for me …

I wonder if the same applies to boneless lamb roasts - which to me seem just wrong, so why did I think boneless pork was ok? I surprise myself …

… and I’m trying hard to resist the obvious Kermit and Miss Piggy jokes …


The rolled boneless pork leg roasts are the same cut as the pork leg roasts but have had the bone removed which makes them easier to carve when cooked.
The same goes for the boneless lamb leg roasts, but unlike Coles rolled pork leg roasts which are cheaper per Kg than their bone-in product, the price for boneless lamb leg roasts is always considerably more per Kg than the bone-in lamb leg roasts.
So somehow after removing the bone which would have sold for $9 Kg as part of the pork roast, and spending labour to cut, roll and tie the roasts, they are now worth less per Kg. Talk about value adding.


It is from the same part of the animal, but the cut is different. It would be near impossible to roll a boneless pork leg (only bone removed) as the meat after deboning is uneven (a leg doesn’t have even muscle around the bone or up and down the bone).

To roll it would need to be trimmed to flatten it to allow rolling…otherwise it would not look round, but fat at one end and skinny at the other.


Nonetheless, the bottom line is that they are now selling the bone-in product for more money than the boneless product which they never previously did, and do not do with lamb.
It would only make sense if they could sell the waste for greater than $9 per Kg.


They do…diced pork and premium pork mince.

It maybe worth checking the nutritional panel when next in Coles. Maybe post photos of them here.


I generally pay about $7 a kilo for Pork Leg, about $5 a kilo for Shoulder and about $9 a kilo for a rolled roast. Leg is our preferred roast as Shoulder and Rolled seem to us to be a bit fattier, and the Shoulder has more bone. But you have to find the butcher who supplies at the price you like, Woolworths IGA and Coles are not in that league unless an item is on a good special. They also do have not so good specials that are bargains per their usual price but are still more than can be found elsewhere.


A common ‘master chef’ and good cooks recommendation is that bone in legs are a superior product at the table.
Never confuse a good cook with logic, otherwise they will start writing recipes as 0.75gm of salt in stead of ‘a small pinch of salt’ and season to taste.

No doubt enough customers don’t read the unit weights making the deception highly profitable?

What does your local butcher think?


Methinks you may have missed or forgotten our in-depth discussion on that aspect. :wink:


Why would a good cook be confused by logic? Whether you write recipe quantities in fixed or flexible units has more to do with the kind of food and the techniques involved. For many ‘to taste’ is just fine for others some precision is required. A good cook will know which is appropriate.


Following popular requests, I have just driven the entire 2.3 km down to our local Coles to check out the pork roasts.
Fresh unprocessed meat does not have a Nutrition Panel, unlike processed meat such as sausages, hamburgers and such like.
I took photos of a bone-in leg roast and a rolled roast side-by-side which I have posted below. The rolled roast displayed less fat than the bone-in roast. This particular one also clearly shows the taper of the leg in the shape of the roast.
I asked a staff member who was tidying up the meat displays if he was a butcher which he confirmed, so I asked him about the roasts.
He said that the rolled roasts are just the bone-in leg roasts with the bones removed. He said that they used to do the rolled roasts instore but they are now delivered to the store already done.
He could not understand why the rolled product was cheaper than the bone-in product. He suggested that perhaps it was a marketing ploy to attract customers into the store.
The bone-in lamb leg roasts were $10 per Kg whilst the rolled boneless lamb leg roasts were $25 per Kg.


@Fred123, you are very diligent.

If one looks at the rolled roast and the leg, the rolled pork has been trimmed…unless the bone comprises about half the total cross-sectional area of the pig’s thigh…which is not the case as the thigh bone has a diameter of about 30mm. Some meat has disappeared or Coles supplier uses smaller beasts with evenly distibuted muscle on the thigh so the thigh didn’t taper towards the knee/hock. I am not sure if smaller beasts would be used as this would affect cuts for the remainder of the carcass…potentially reducing percentage utilisation and increase small beast per kilo costs (which is the reverse of the Coles pricing). The large pig growers/farmers also grow pigs to a specific size for processing to ensure consistency in cut products.

Notwithstanding this, the price could also be driven by demand. If something sells more, then this tends to drive the price up (supply and demand curves in economics 101). Maybe most Coles customers prefer boned pork which is a traditional style roast and potentially produces more cracking and is tastier (as bone and its marrow adds flavour). Coles know it can charge more as the customer will still pay higher price for the leg.


Exactly my point! They would buy what is best for the desired meal irrespective of the cost, :pensive:


I think they are just not relating to customers well. The plastic bags mess is a good example re making customers unhappy. That’s the last thing you want when customers enter and leave your store. They are just making money out of us by charging for what are still plastic bags. Then we are expected to use these again to do our shopping, despite the fact that they may be dirty and unhygienic ( e.g. spilt washing detergent). We were already re-using plastic bags as bin liners etc .

Also the Coles bread just left on the shelf without any covering attracting flies etc. is a joke.

Coles do not relate well to customers contacting them and at times complaints are ignored/deleted.


I agree that the bone-in leg must have been trimmed otherwise there would have been far too much skin and meat for the finished size of the rolled roast, but nonetheless, the rolled item is purely skin and meat with a little bit of fat whilst the leftovers include all the bones and excess fat as well as skin and meat.
There is also the possibility that the rolled pork roasts are produced from the chump end instead of the hock end of the leg which may make it easier to try to get them symmetrical, but there is no way that the leftovers could be worth more than the rolled product.
We often cook a rolled pork leg or rolled pork loin on our Weber Q and there is nothing left after a few days. The crackling goes first. There is zero waste. This certainly would not be the case for either the leftovers from the rolled pork leg or a bone-in pork leg.
Whilst I have never boned out a fresh pork leg, I have sliced up a great many half leg hams. We usually manage to get through at least 2 at Xmas when they are readily available and quite cheap. As well as the large bones, there is always quite a bit of excess fat to discard. The bones get stored for pea and ham soup in Winter.
I have also boned out a lot of lamb legs, and from memory, when I have weighed the lean meat, the waste from the bone and fat accounts for around 30% of the total weight. The fat is discarded and the bone is used for stock.
So, I am afraid I must concur with what the Coles butcher told me yesterday

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It sounds like the Coles in-store bakeries must do things differently in different stores. All our Cairns Coles stores always have the in-store bread in light plastic bags and the speciality loaves like Ciabatta in sealed paper bags which have a plastic window on the front.
In the case of their multigrain loaves, they only bake them in 680 gm loaves whilst their white and wholegrain bread are also available in 800 gm loaves. However, I have seen 800 gm loaves of multigrain bread at Coles stores in SEQ.
As for the flies, I don’t recall seeing any and the stores have several electronic insect killers.


I have not seen a Coles or Woolies where they store uncovered bread like that, except for french sticks, but I have yet to see a baker that does not.