Some interesting movement on grocery prices, with the ACCC report noting a lack of competition, and making some recommendations, such as unit pricing.
You know, I’m pretty sure my memory isn’t failing me in this: Safeway used to have unit pricing. I’m sure that 10 or 15 years ago, in the small print on the shelf price tags, the price per 100 grams (or whatever) was displayed.
Metcash, which distributes to IGA, was also mentioned. The Metcash head honcho was on ABC radio yesterday morning, noting that any lack of competition isn’t due to their pricing, but due to size comparative size of IGA stores compared to Coles and Safeway. I think there’s a lot to that; if all three were equidistant, I’d still go mostly to Coles or Safeway, because they have a better range.
Another caller talked about imported food sometimes being cheaper than locally-produced stuff. She was worried about the employment prospects of local workers, but I was thinking of the food miles. As a friend of mine commented recently, tinned tomatoes from Italy competing on the shelf with tinned tomatoes from the Goulburn Valley is a sign that oil prices are still too low.
Is lack of competition really the cause of rising grocery prices? With Aldi here, isn’t there more competition than before? (Though the amount of stuff they import is staggering.)
Or is it production problems? We all know about the drought. Not to mention demand for biofuels, which means less resources for food. One report says this alone has forced up global food prices by 75%.
Personally, I’d rather eat than drive any day.