Aldi, The Co-operative and Waitrose are the latest supermarkets to commit to improving food labelling, making it easier for shoppers to compare prices. This means that four supermarkets have now signed up to the Which? ‘Price it Right’ campaign, following Morrisons commitment last year.
The consumer group Which? has asked supermarkets to end hard-to-read and inconsistent labelling, arguing that it confuses shoppers and makes it hard for them to identify the best deals. A recent survey from the watchdog found that 78% of consumers shop around for the best price for their groceries, and 43% now compare prices when in-store.
Under the commitment, supermarkets need to display a consistent unit price of food items on promotions in store (such as £1 per 100g) and ensure that the labels are clearly visible.
Which? Executive Director Richard Lloyd said: “Hard-pressed shoppers want to know at a glance what the cheapest deal is without having to get their calculators out, so it’s a win for consumers that four major supermarkets have committed to improving their labels. The remaining supermarkets should now follow suit and listen to the thousands of people that have backed this campaign.”
Which? added that Sainsbury’s had been working on transparent pricing over the last 18 months and that Lidl and Tesco were ‘making active steps towards simpler pricing’. Asda was also looking at improving its labelling but Iceland and Marks and Spencer had yet to take any action.
The importance of clarity in pricing and consistency in labelling is becoming a critical issue: data from Profitero reveals that in one day alone, a supermarket can make up to 2,000 price changes. This number of price changes is making it increasingly difficult for the time-pressed and price-sensitive shopper to understand how prices compare in order to get the best deals.
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