Coles ‘insane’ $147 price jump divides
Picking up some prepacked groceries may be tempting if you're in a hurry, but one man's Facebook post has shown why it pays to look at the small print.
Posting on the Markdown Addicts Australia Facebook page, one shopper shared two photos of an identical product at Coles that had wildly different prices.
A plastic-wrapped 20g container of Birdseye chillies were priced at $175 a kilo, while the loose product cost just $28 a kilo.
"In a packet vs not in a packet," the shopper captioned the two photos. "Not to mention the waste of plastic packaging."
Others were quick to comment on the "insane" price difference of $147, with many people admitting they rarely checked the price per kilo.
"My hubby actually pointed out the same thing the other day I honestly had never really noticed it before I only ever looked at quality and freshness. Glad I know now," one woman wrote.
"I knew loose was cheaper but wow lol," another commented.
"I always look at the unit price and have also taught my hubby who is slowly getting better at it and not just grabbing what has a sales ticket," one commented.
"This is true of many packaged products including cold meats and veg! Always check the price," another wrote.
Meanwhile, others argued the high price could be used as a deterrent to avoid plastic and buy loose instead.
"You are aware it's that way to promote people into not using plastic right? The tax on plastic is ridiculous now, don't buy prepackaged veggies and you'll be right," one woman wrote.
"Should be more expensive than $175kg … the reason they are more expensive is the cost of convenience," another commented.
"You want to be lazy and screw the environment with single use plastic cause of convenience, then you pay the price."
"Everything is cheaper loose. You are paying the labour to pack it!" one person added.
In a statement, a Coles spokeswoman told news.com.au: "There is customer demand for prepacked chillies and the additional labour and packaging requirements means that they come at an additional cost.
"We will continue to offer customers a choice between loose and pre packed chillies."
Plastic packaging of fruit and vegetables is common practice in all the major supermarkets, with Woolworths also pricing their chillies significantly cheaper if bought loose.
Loose red chillies cost just $24 per kilo, while prepackaged Birdseye red chillies are $150 per kilo.
The woman was "furious" as she had even ticked the option for no bags when doing her order.
"It kind of defeats the purpose of 'no plastic bags'," she wrote. "Having one onion or one lemon in a plastic bag is really not necessary and makes me quite furious about the waste and blatant disregard for the climate.
"Get with the program guys. The general public are becoming way more vigilant about saving our planet. It's time for you guys to start making some changes too."
Last year both Coles and Woolworths stopped providing single-use plastic bags, instead getting shoppers to bring their own bags or buy multi-use plastic bags.
The supermarket giants say the ban has managed to divert 4.7 billion single-use plastic bags from landfill in just 12 months.