Unit pricing became law for most large supermarkets in December last year. But that still doesn’t mean that comparisons can always be made directly.
Blogger Simon Rumble recently noticed that his local Woolworths was selling paprika with unit pricing per 10 grams in the spices section, but per 100 grams in the ethnic foods department, an approach he describes as “slimy”.
As a general principle, the ACCC unit pricing guidelines recommend using 100 grams as the comparison measure for goods sold by weight. Spices, however, are one of the categories which have a separate standard unit defined, and this is indeed 10 grams.
I’m not necessarily convinced this is a deliberate strategy to confuse people — given that 100 grams is the default, it probably applies across a large swathe of the ethnic foods section. But that doesn’t mean that Woolworths hasn’t broken the rules.
It’s true that converting a price per 10 grams into a price per 100 grams does not involve particularly taxing mental arithmetic. On the other hand, it’s also true that some people still might not register the difference, and that it goes against the aim of unit pricing to make comparison shopping easier.
Spotted any other contradictory unit pricing approaches? Tell us in the comments.