CHOICE membership

Per each or per unit of weight? How should some food products sold loose from bulk be priced and the quantity be marked on packs?


One thing that can cause problems in unit pricing is it rewards products that simply bulk themselves with useless ingredients.

For example dilute your laundry liquid with 50% water and the unit price is halved, even though you’re going to recommend using twice as much per wash.

Is there any real way to overcome that? Probably not, but it was just a thought.


I am on the side that believes we are bombarded with excessive information across the board, not just in unit pricing. So long as there is a standard to compare prices using a like-for-like metric I think ‘we’ will use it regardless of @tpeter267’s comment; even if his example was ‘per wash’ rather than per ‘100g’, how can a universal ‘per wash’ metric be applied that is any more truthful than the random and very odd numbers of so-called ‘serves’ in some food packets?

People can usually make good enough decisions using some information, but ‘we’ increasingly analyse and over-analyse, be it prices or product features. Does it matter if a mobile screen PPI is 412 or 424 but some might end up using that metric to differentiate for their buying decision.

If one buys what looks like well priced laundry liquid that doesn’t work or you need to use more than just a lot, most would not buy it again regardless of the price or unit price, so in theory there should be some market self-management.


I don’t believe companies of that size doing silly things is ever an accident :wink: This is a big job, but not a difficult one …


My earlier post in “Difficult to read unit pricing” shows the similar variations in the pricing of tea bags at Woolies".

This suggests it is not a random thing, especially since specials are widely advertised across many stores.


Providing the unit per standardized wash, as is done in some European countries, is probably the only way to overcome differences in the amount need to achieve a given result.


It’s all about getting the right balance between information usefulness, accuracy and overload. And what consumers should be expected/required to do for themselves rather than have done for them. The balance will vary between products and consumers. However, I think everyone will benefit from consistent approaches to the unit of measure within and between retailers.


This is an example of how rounding and using a small unit of measure (e.g. per tea bag) can result in inaccurate and seemingly insignificantly small unit prices. The Code tries to overcome this by requiring that if products are unit priced per each and most packs contain more than 40 items all the unit prices must be per 100 items.


Perhaps we need to send Woolies a personalised invitation to the .community as they seem not to read it (or don’t really give a toss) :wink:

Twinnings again so at least they are consistently inconsistent. It also highlights the unit cost for buying ‘just 10’ rather than the 100 pack, a ‘tax’ for those who don’t drink tea often and prefer relatively fresher…


Oh I didn’t know other countries had done that. I was just wondering how when there are so many factors to consider when deciding a standard wash. CHOICE reviews do that for things like laundry liquid but could the same be done for other similar products? Or are unit prices simply not practical for products with different quantities per ‘use’?

A few that come to mind are surface cleaners, pet foods and over the counter medications.


Yes, but not as illustrated with these two pricing labels which are for 100 tea bags in both instances. Not only are Woolies inconsistent, they can’t even follow the code. As @draughtrider and others are suggesting it defies reason that these are simple errors and not deliberate actions.

For tea bags knowing both the weight of tea in each bag and how many bags (cups) you get per dollar is necessary for comparison mathematically.

Subjectively it all comes down to how you perceive the outcome. My partner prefers a large mug of tea and an almost instantaneous brew, hence the higher strength (more tea leaf) bags are used. Initially I interpreted the need was for a strong dark cup able to dissolve silver ware and support foundations. So I brewed pots like we did in the mines, well stewed over hours to bring pucker back to a desert baked rock. Oh! how wrong I was. Banned from making the tea. :disappointed_relieved:

Which reflects on a prior point that “unit pricing” isn’t everything.


I think it is unintentional at best and laziest at worst. It is likely that the operator of the labeller would have a choice, but maybe they don;t know how to change for conformity or couldn’t be bothered as near enough is good enough…and as long as it has something, all is sweet.

I would have thought in today’s day and age that the main computer system would generate a batch file of labels for printing/dispensing and placement in store. If this is the case, then it is likely to be intentional as the retailer would be able to set the unit price before generating the label.

Unfortunately, it is my first thoughts which I think is possibly more likely.

Maybe Choice could ask/survey the major retailers how they set the unit prices shown on labels in store:

  • Set by a master whole of organisation controller

  • Set on a store by store basis

  • Set by the operator of the labeller/label dispenser

The other question of interest would be what measures do they implement to ensure consistency.