Latest GroceryChoice data has Woolies on top as retailers call for it to be shut down

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 1st May 2009

Woolworths had the cheapest total basket of groceries in 39 out of the 61 GroceryChoice regions, according to the latest figures released today (May 1).Coles was the cheapest in 18 regions and the independent supermarkets in the other four, consumer group Choice reported.

The cost of the basket is calculated using statistical analysis of the prices of hundreds of groceries from supermarkets around the country, with the cheapest in each state varying from $161 to $171.

The contrast was starkest between Woolworths in Inner West Melbourne area where the cheapest total basket cost $161.20 and the same chain in the North Western Tasmania area where the dearest total basket cost $171.07.

Overall, Woolies had the cheapest total basket in every state and territory, except for Queensland, where the independents cost less in the East Central region, according to the analysis by Choice.

Discount grocer Aldi has the cheapest staples basket in all 40 regions where they operate.
An major revamp to the GroceryChoice website is due in the next couple of months, although retailers are yet to offer support to plans that would see them hand over their prices on a weekly basis.

“Choice is currently in discussions with the supermarkets and working towards relaunching the price check service later this year with more timely, local and relevant data,” the consumer group advised today.

Lack of retail support

Retail industry body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), again outlined their disapproval of the site today, urging the Rudd Government to defund the $13 million site.

“The retail market is highly competitive – prices can change by the hour and vary between locations. The Grocery Choice information is more of a hindrance to consumers than a help,” ARA Executive Director, Richard Evans, claimed. “Shoppers know where the best deals are – they read the weekly mailings and they consider advertising to determine when they should buy.”

“The Rudd Government should act to stop this waste of tax payers’ funds and if they do they would have retailers support,” Mr Evans suggested.