Supermarket price drop adverts and labels

I am interested in views about, and examples of, the adverts and shelf labels used by 3 main supermarkets to display on-going price drops.

Below is a photo of an advert in today’s paper for a price drop that occurred in October 2016. (I have also seen them for even earlier price drop dates.)

It is good that the price has remained at that level for so long.

However, I wonder whether promoting such old price drops really helps consumers. If it does not, any views about how long a price drop should be promoted?

Also, any views about how the date of the price drop should be displayed?

I think the date of the price drop should always be shown legibly and prominently very close to any displayed original price and the date should be preceded by the word ON.


What does the date shown actually mean? Anyone?

It shows the date when the price was at the indicated previous level i.e. the date the price dropped to the current level.


So the date shown could be at some time in the past when the product was sold at a price at its highest, and for many years hence could have been sold at a lower price on a regular basis. In fact, the special price today could be higher than in the past. What a crock.


I have seen Woolies and Coles displays with price drop displays similar to your post, but they also seem to use them without reference dates for temporary sales, confusing what is a long term price drop and what is a price drop (temporary sale price)


Are there supposed to be dates?
I’ll look more closely next time. IGA and Woolies.

To be honest I’ve given up paying attention to them as anything other than the price today. It’s either competitive or not. The sale is made or lost. Any implied or intended messaging it’s a great deal is masked by scepticism.

IGA sometimes has a “price matched” tag which may deserve similar attention.


No it only indicates that it is currently better than the price at that particular time, it may have been higher in the intervening period between that date and now but puffery is allowed. The dates are also a moving point. The home branded softdrink at one time was below 80 cents after being around $0.90 so it was advertised regarding that drop from the $0.90, then the price increased and the date moved to accommodate that change. So yes on 10/10/16 it was $3.29, then it may have increased, then it dropped again, so they use a nice early date to make it look better (puffery).


I am assuming that the price on 10/10/2015 was the regular price at that time. However, that is not certain.


Yes, there can be confusion about what is a long term drop in the regular price and what is a temporary drop. Which IMO is why the date of the permanent price drop needs to be prominent and legible, close the original price, and preceded the word ON.


I’ll look out for them. I have not seen price drop signs or adverts at my local IGA.


I have assumed that the regular price has been at the new level since the price drop date but that there may have been temporary drops below the current regular price. However, I am unaware of any rules on this, so anything is possible.


I still don’t think we know definitely what the date indicates. Does it mean that it was $3.29 in 2016 and is now $2? If so, so what? The $3.29 that long ago is meaningless, and could be a lie anyway - who is going to check? The only argument here is that it’s misleading advertising.

Basically it is just advertising to get customers into their shop . They all do it . The $2.00 price point for 175 g Smiths chips is very cheap . I went for a couple of frothies tonight and payed $5.00 for two bags of 90G Smiths chips :cry:. I would usually pay $2.99 for the 175G size .

AS the old saying goes " Never look a gift horse in the mouth " at $2.00 stock up for Chrissie . Watch the use by dates though .


It doesn’t really help consumers as it is the ‘usual’ price they pay. I suspect the signage has too purposes,

  1. to make the consumer feel like they are getting something cheaper (on sale psychology) and
  2. to encourage a consumer to buy it over other comparable products (even if it is more expensive unit price, the consumer was not planning to but saw the label and because of 1) to increase the particular product sales.

And there maybe a third, trying to make the supermarket look like it is ‘looking after’ its customers by reducing prices.

I take the date on the label as the date where the usual price officially dropped from say $3.29 to $2, which in the example was 12/10/2016. I suspect that the product could be on sale (cheaper) from time to time, but the label is about normal price not a special buy price.

I wonder with food deflation if eventually every product has such labelling?

I wonder if such labelling also puts pressure on the manufacturer/supplier to reduce their wholesale prices?


Something must have gone bump in the night at Woollies yesterday as when I checked their website for Kirks 10 can packs, they were priced at over $8.00 each but today they are listed at the usual price of $6.20 each.

And it shows that they were $7.20 each on 14.01.2019



Do the dates they were dearer really mean anything beyond that was the price on the day?

What probably needs to be done is keeping a spreadsheet of prices and dates for these types of items so that any variance and claim can be crosschecked and thus show if it really is a bargain or a price drop that has real meaning or is just an advertising opportunity that really holds no real substance.


I agree. They add to clutter and can confuse.


Good points.


Thanks for sharing these Coles price down signs. At least with these signs it is fairly easy to see when the price reduction occurred.

Not so with Aldi’s price drop shelf labels. See pic. Am interested in comments on it.