Supermarkets commit to ‘Price it Right’

Four of the UK’s biggest supermarkets have listened to the thousands of people who have supported Which?’s ‘Price it Right’ campaign for simpler, clearer and consistent pricing.

Aldi, The Co-operative and Waitrose have today committed to improve food labels in their stores to help shoppers compare the price of products more easily. Morrisons publicly signed up to our ‘Price it Right’ campaign when it launched in September last year and has already introduced new labels in many of its shops.

With nine million households feeling the financial squeeze, being able to spot items that offer the best value for money is more important than ever to consumers. New research from Which? shows eight in ten (78%) people shop around for the best price for their groceries and around four in 10 (43%) are now comparing prices when shopping in store, more than they were a year ago.

Our ‘Price it Right’ campaign calls on supermarkets to end hard-to-read and inconsistent pricing that confuses consumers and makes it difficult for shoppers to identify value for money.

Of the six other major supermarkets, Sainsbury’s has been working on transparent pricing over the last 18 months and Lidl and Tesco are making active steps towards simpler pricing. Asda has said it will look at improving its labelling but Iceland and Marks and Spencer have still yet to take any action.

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 the Which? campaign.

“In the longer term we want the Government to simplify pricing legislation so that retailers and manufacturers can make food prices even easier to compare.”

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said:
“I welcome the positive steps taken by supermarkets to help consumers get the best value and a fairer deal. Clearer prices and promotions will be a big help for consumers who want to be more savvy and work out how to save more on their weekly shop. In addition, more transparency will boost competition and help support a stronger economy.

“Consumer Minister Jo Swinson has been working closely with the supermarkets and with Which? to explore what more can be done to make prices simpler. This is an encouraging first step and I look forward to other supermarkets following suit.”

The Which? voluntary commitment asks supermarkets to improve unit pricing in store by making the following changes:

  • Displaying a consistent unit price by using the same unit measurement
  • Including the unit price of food items on promotion in-store
  • Making sure that the unit pricing labels are clearly visible and adhere, where possible to the Which? and Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) guidelines

Notes to editors

  1. Which? wrote to the 10 major supermarkets on 25 June asking them to sign up to our voluntary commitment on unit pricing.
  2.  Populus, on behalf of Which?, interviewed 2055 UK adults online between 14 and 16 June 2013. Data was weighted to be demographically representative of all UK adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
  3. 78% of grocery shoppers say they always/ sometimes shop around to get the best prices. Populus on behalf of Which? surveyed 2028 GB adults  online between 28th June and 1st July 2013. Data were weighted to be representative of the GB population. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
  4. The ‘Price it Right’ campaign was launched in September 2012 and so far we have had 31,388 people pledge their support.

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