Get Ready for the Grocery Store Chaos: Those Tricky Promo Labels are Seriously Baffling!

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun12,2024
Key Points
  • Consumer group CHOICE has published survey findings about promotional labels at Coles, Woolworths, and Aldi.
  • It asked more than 1,000 people if the price on the label represented a discount, and if that was easy to determine.
  • CHOICE found there was “widespread confusion” among consumers.
If you’ve ever struggled to work out if something’s on special at the supermarket, new research suggests you’re not alone.
Consumer group CHOICE showed more than 1,000 people nine photos of labels from Coles, Woolworths, and Aldi featuring different phrases such as ‘low price’, ‘down down’, and ‘super savers’.
It asked them if they thought the price on the label represented a discount, and whether that was quick and easy to determine.
CHOICE found there was “widespread confusion”, with many incorrectly believing , or not being sure either way.

Coles

Some Coles labels were among the most confusing, according to CHOICE.
One example was a yoghurt drink with a red and yellow ‘while stocks last’ price tag.
That label split those surveyed almost equally, with around a third either saying they believed (31 per cent), didn’t believe (36 per cent), or weren’t sure (33 per cent) if it was discounted or not.

While 45 per cent were able to quickly and easily determine if it was a discount or not, 38 per cent couldn’t, while 17 per cent were unsure.

A yogurt drink on a supermarket shelf

Survey respondents were equally confused by this ‘while stocks last’ label. Credit: CHOICE

A Coles spokesperson told SBS News it had “several specials mechanisms” in place to help customers “spot great value”.

“While stocks last tickets offer customers the chance to buy items which are only available at Coles for a short time, and which are unlikely to be restocked once the products are sold through,” they said in a statement.

“Customer feedback is important to us. Our goal is to always be as clear as possible and we are taking steps to update this ticket over the coming months.”

Woolworths

The greatest confusion at Woolworths was created by a ‘member price’ label on a box of Berocca.
Twenty-nine per cent of respondents believed it was a discount on the usual price, while nearly two in five (39 per cent) said it wasn’t and almost a third (32 per cent) were unsure.

There was a fairly even split between those who felt it was easy to tell if it was a special (42 per cent) and those who couldn’t (41 per cent), while 17 per cent were unsure.

Berocca on a shelf with an orange 'member price' label

Almost a third of those surveyed couldn’t tell if this Berocca was discounted or not. Credit: CHOICE

A Woolworths spokesperson told SBS News the supermarket giant “worked hard” to communicate its prices “clearly and accurately”.

“We strive to clearly and simply sign post the ways that our customers can find value and spend less every time they shop with us,” they said in a statement.

“We know that the majority of our customers are buying products on special or on an everyday low price offer to help them save.”

Aldi

One label that created confusion at Aldi was ‘super savers’.
More than half (56 per cent) of the respondents didn’t think it indicated a discount on the usual price, 14 per cent believed it did, and 30 per cent were unsure.

Forty-five per cent said it was easy to determine if it was on special, 39 per cent said it wasn’t, and 15 per cent weren’t sure.

Cucumbers at a supermarket with a red Aldi super savers price tag

Aldi’s ‘super savers’ label also created confusion. Credit: CHOICE

According to Aldi, the ‘super savers’ label refers to weekly and fortnightly offers across fresh produce like fruit and vegetables, meat and baked goods.

“Our model of everyday low prices means we have permanently low prices across our range creating savings for customers across a whole basket, not just on a select range of products,” an Aldi spokesperson told SBS News in a statement.

“We do not offer price markups and discounts across our grocery range, otherwise known as high low pricing, providing certainty and reliability to our customers.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Get Ready for the Grocery Store Chaos: Those Tricky Promo Labels are Seriously Baffling!”
  1. As a frequent shopper, I completely agree with the survey findings. It’s frustrating when promo labels are so confusing, making it hard to tell if you’re really getting a discount or not. Retailers need to make it clearer for consumers!

  2. Isn’t it concerning how many people struggle to understand the promo labels at supermarkets? Why do you think there is so much confusion, and what can be done to make it clearer for consumers?

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