Major retailers find parity in latest GROCERYchoice survey

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 5th November 2008

The fourth findings of the GROCERYchoice comparison survey were released on Monday and discovered Woolworths and Coles were each cheaper in 30 out of 61 regions for a total grocery basket, with independents cheapest in Eastern Central Queensland.

Aldi, which is not included in the total grocery basket category, again led the way in terms of a basic staples basket in all 40 regions in which they operate. Coles, meanwhile, turned the tables on their primary competitor in the basic staples basket category by coming out cheaper that Woolworths in 42 of 61 regions.

The total grocery basket price represents the average price for a retailer within a specified region, not the price for a specific individual supermarket outlet, with prices calculated for the following grocery baskets: meat and seafood; fruit and vegetables; dairy; breads and cereals; drinks and other snacks; general groceries; household and personal care.

The price of a basic staples basket is also calculated. This includes a range of staple products from the other baskets.

The survey, implemented following the Grocery Price Inquiry, has been criticised by some, who claim it does not provide enough timely information for consumers and allay concerns that too much focus is on Coles and Woolworths. The grouping of all independents together has also been questioned.

The ACCC has advised that the site is merely meant to be a guide, with other factors such as location, service quality, product quality and range needing to be taken into account by consumers.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Retail Facts – a division of The Bailey Group, was awarded a contract worth $5 million over two years to conduct the survey on behalf of the Government.