The latest to join – Aldi, the Co-operative and Waitrose – have pledged to improve food labels in their stores to help shoppers compare product prices more easily. Morrisons announced its support for the campaign when it launched last September and has introduced new labels in many stores.
A Morrisons spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We know how important it is that our customers are able to make informed decisions on which products offer best value for money. That’s why last year we made a pledge in partnership with Which? to make our unit prices clearer and more consistent across our stores.”
The supermarket had already made the changes to 16,000 products and will continue to make additional improvements, he added.
9M households under pressure
The consumer watchdog said with 9M households under financial pressure, it was more important than ever to help consumers spot the best value for money.
New Which? research showed that 78% of people shop around for the best price for their groceries. Nearly a half (43%) said they compared prices when shopping in store, more than they did a year ago.
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said hard-pressed shoppers wanted to spot the cheapest deal at a glance. “It’s a win for consumers that four major supermarkets have committed to improving their labels,” he said. “The remaining supermarkets should now follow suit, and listen to the thousands of people that have backed the Which? campaign.”
Simplify pricing legislation
The government should simplify pricing legislation so that retailers and manufacturers can make food prices even easier to compare, he added.
Business secretary Vince Cable said consumer minister Jo Swinson had been working with supermarkets and with Which? to explore what more could be done to make prices simpler.
“This is an encouraging first step and I look forward to other supermarkets following suit,” he said. “In addition, more transparency will boost competition and help support a stronger economy.”
Of the other major supermarkets, Sainsbury has been working on transparent pricing over the past 18 months and Lidl and Tesco were moving towards simpler pricing, said Which?
Asda has said it will consider improved labelling but Iceland and Marks & Spencer have taken no action.
Meanwhile, earlier this week the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) picked out improved food labels as being a key lesson of the horsemeat crisis.
Waitrose and Aldi on ‘Price it Right’
- Waitrose: “We think it’s essential prices are clear and transparent. When Which? launched the campaign last year they said: ‘Waitrose stood out for consistently showing the unit price as 43% of the selling price (the closest to our criteria of 50%)’. And since then we have made significant further progress to fulfil these voluntary commitments.”
- Aldi: “At Aldi, we make it as easy as possible for customers to see and understand the fantastic prices they get on all our products and have been working alongside Which? in developing these commitments to ensure our pricing follows industry best practice.”