Is Your Grocery Bill Too High? Australia Wants to Hear from You!

March 1, 2024 10:12 am in by

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched a crucial inquiry into the operations of major supermarkets, specifically targeting Coles and Woolworths, to uncover potential issues of price gouging and lack of competition. In an effort to gather insights from both the public and industry insiders, the ACCC has made a call for submissions through an online survey, focusing on supermarkets’ pricing strategies, competition levels, loyalty schemes, and the impact of online shopping and private-label products.

Mick Keogh, ACCC Deputy Chair, emphasized the importance of understanding how supermarkets set their prices and the overall competition within the retail sector. By comparing the prices suppliers receive for their goods, the prices at checkout, and the profits supermarkets earn, the ACCC aims to identify if a dearth of competition is leading to higher costs for consumers.

This inquiry comes in the wake of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s announcement earlier in the year, raising concerns about rising grocery prices and the accusations of unfair practices by farmers, consumers, and politicians alike. The inquiry not only seeks to provide consumers with fairer prices but also aims to ensure sustainable relationships between supermarkets and their suppliers.

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Industry leaders and business sectors, including Melina Morrison, CEO of the Business Council of Co-operatives, have expressed support for the investigation. Morrison highlighted the potential for this inquiry to reshape the supermarket industry and introduce more equitable systems, such as co-operatives, which could enhance competition and ensure a more balanced distribution of profits within the industry.

The ACCC is determined to explore all facets of the supermarket supply chain to ensure fair pricing for Australians. Submissions are open until April 2nd, with an interim report expected by August, signalling a significant step toward addressing concerns over supermarket pricing and competition.