CHOICE membership

How easy is it to use unit pricing in the supermarket?



Thanks Ray and glad you noticed that the original query was about using unit pricing during online grocery shopping.

Am still interested in views/experiences anyone has of that. But also very pleased to get comments about in store unit pricing.

Agree that for some people it is quite easy with metric to compare per 100g with per kg.

BUT is not easy for some people, so to minimise the need for this, retailers should comply with the code.


Thanks for your comment. Yes, as you and other have commented far too often the print used for the unit price (esp on in store shelf labels and signs and printed adverts) is far too small and badly located resulting in the unit prices not complying with the code’s requirements that they be both prominent and legible.


Both Coles and Woolworths online stores have an option to sort by unit price - can’t say how effective it is but I do find it helpful.


I find the supermarkets that use electronic shelf pricing instead of printed shelf pricing do NOT have unit pricing (eg Super IGA)


The shelves with electronic shelf pricing also often give shocks to people as they touch the shelf or touch metal cans on the shelf


I use it all the time. Very grateful it was introduced; thank you :slight_smile:


IIRC stores with less than 1,000m2 did not have to display unit pricing. So none of the stores I shopped at had unit pricing. My gripe is that they have tickets that are printed with price and weight, why can’t this small line be automatically added. The Specials tags will tell you how much you save on the deal, so why not include unit comparison?

They also have unit pricing in the catalogue (although this is for a geographic area with many stores) and may not be present for multi sized items. For example chocolate bars, same physical size, but different weights between Kit-Kat and Milk Chocolate (so no unit price). I would like unit pricing because pricing and sizes are confusing. Kit-Kat comes in everything from 11 snack size, small bars, large bars, blocks and can be quite confusing - the large size on special still being per kg dearer than the snack size for example. WeetBix, comes in a confusing array of weights, understandable to get the biscuits neatly packed, but hard to compare 1.4kg with 1.21kg, 0.45kg etc.

I would like to see it in smaller supermarkets.


It took a while for supermarkets to implement this policy. Love the use of unit pricing, it makes shopping for the best deals much easier. However, I don’t buy home brand labels as a rule, so my unit pricing stickers are usually on one of the bottom shelves. It is hard to see the unit price because it is low down, shaded from direct light, and I’m one of the older generation, who has trouble squatting down to that level, and I would have to get out my glasses to be able to read the small print!
Larger print and easier access would be much appreciated.
A great win for consumers, if they can read it.


Thanks for this online info Fayelifar.

It is definitely very helpful for shoppers that the Coles and Woolworth online stores allow you to sort product in lists by unit price.

In fact I think any online site that provides unit prices should have this facility.

But I wonder how many shoppers are aware of the facility and use it. I presume that you do?

My main gripe with these on line stores is that a search for a particular type of product can often produce a list that also includes other products.

I’d be interested to know whether this has been a problem for you.



Sometimes the ‘special’ stickers don’t have the unit pricing, even when the shelf price does, I’ve noticed.


Thanks Vombatis. That is an interesting observation.

Generally, I find unit prices on electronic shelf label much less easy to notice and read than those on printed shelf labels.

Regarding non provision of unit price on electronic shelf labels it is possible that these stores are not required by law to provide unit prices.

Unfortunately, only supermarkets with an area greater than 1000 sq metres have to do so. However, many below the minimum size do provide unit prices voluntarily are required to comply with the same Code requirements as large stores.


Thanks for your comment Zackarii.

I agree that it would be beneficial for consumers if more supermarkets smaller than 1000m2 provided unit pricing, And, if it was provided by hardware stores, chemists (for non prescription items), pet supplies stores, etc.

When stores have to or choose to provide unit prices for groceries they generally have to provide them for all sizes of a product. However, they do not have to provide it for an offer where the sizes are different such as $3 for any 2 items of varying sizes.


Thanks. Very pleased to know that you find unit pricing helpful.

Completely agree with you that often unit prices on bottom shelves can be particularly difficult to read.

Because of this, and the ACCC’s reluctance to recognise that this is a major problem, we have done some experiments with labels 20 cms from the ground. As you might expect we found that unit price prominence and legibility increased greatly when the print was large and the label was angled out…

Shoppers should not have to crouch down to read bottom shelf unit prices so in our experiments participants remained upright…


Thanks for the comment Meltam6554.

The Code administered by the ACCC requires the unit price to be shown on the special offer stickers unless it is a multi buy offer involving more than one pack size.


I can’t really add much ijarratt. I shop online every week at either Coles or Woolworths, and only use the unit price sort order when I’m looking to buy an item for the cheapest unit price. It serves my purpose well enough and I haven’t noticed it showing irrelevant products.


My Husband pointed out unit pricing to me and now I use it all the time, I think it is great.


P.S. Also a big congrats to @ijarratt for his OAM! Well deserved and I’m impressed you were still fighting the good fight here on the community last night!


I dislike how sometimes the price will be based on kilos and sometimes based on grams for the same type of product. I think they like to use grams when they can to make it appear to be cheaper.

I’ve also found sometimes the unit price is wrong and when i’ve pointed this out, the staff at the supermarket either didn’t care or couldn’t grasp the concept of unit pricing and how it worked.


Tea bags - I can understand that people want per bag pricing - which usually isn’t comparable as a box of 100 at $3.49 is 3cents per bag, and one at $3.51 is 4 cents. I would rather see per 100 or per 10.

I would also like to see by weight as the tea bags I recently bought vary considerably in content.
I recently bought Black & Gold 200 Teapot Tea Bags 370g = 1.85g per bag. I ended up using 2 per mug.
Tetley All Rounder 100 bags 220g = 2.2g,
add a string, tag & staple and you lose 20g - Tetley Tea Cup Bag 100 - 200g = 2g
Lipton Quality Black Tea 100 bags 180g = 1.8g

While the weakest is B&G, it isn’t the lightest; that’s Lipton which I also find weak, but not enough to require 2 bags. The best product content is the Tetley All Rounder - with the bonus of no string & staple to remove from my compost.

Congrats @ijarratt for the OAM and Unit Pricing (if only it would come to a store near me …) I agree with enlarging it to other shopping outlets. Thank you, and keep up the good work.


Thanks for the comment hitspacebar-choice.

The Code allows some products to be unit priced per kg, some per 100g and some per 10g. However, it also requires that all packs of the same product to be unit priced using the same unit of measure. So not any retailer not doing this is not complying with the ACCC administered Code.

However, with some products it can be difficult to comply with, for example if the packs of some items of a product are marked with the weight and others just the number in the pack - for example biscuits and cakes.

I agree that retailers prefer the unit of measure to be small so that the unit price looks low. That is why the standard units of measure in the Code for weight and volume are 100g and 100mL not kg and litre.

The Code also requires unit prices to be accurate.

I encourage you to contact the ACCC (ph 1300 302 502) if you find retailers not complying with the Code.