6 months after we lodged our complaint about dodgy specials, the Commerce Commission is investigating Woolworths, Foodstuffs North Island and Foodstuffs South Island to find out whether their pricing and promotional practices comply with the Fair Trading Act.Read more
Whether it's an 'everyday low price' or 'super saver', we asked you to send us examples of unclear or misleading pricing and promotional practices, so we can hold the supermarkets to account.
During our campaign to clean up supermarket pricing, we asked you to send in examples of unclear or misleading pricing and promotional practices. From September to the end of June, we received over 600 complaints.
We have lodged a complaint with the Commerce Commission about potential breaches of the Fair-Trading Act at supermarket. Our complaint asks the Commission to investigate Foodstuffs and Woolworths based on the evidence sent in by eagle-eyed shoppers.
Thanks to everyone who submitted examples of unclear or misleading pricing and promotional practices at the supermarkets - sign up as a campaign supporter to stay updated.
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We’ve been calling for ten fixes to make the supermarket industry truly competitive. Many of these are now happening, including:
- A mandatory code of conduct
- Appointing a Grocery Commissioner
- Improved access to goods at wholesale prices for other retailers
- Banning land covenants that prevent competitors from setting up shop
- Mandatory unit pricing.
This is great progress, but our work isn't done yet.
1948: The country's first self-service grocery store 'Four Square' opens.
Late 1950s: The first Woolworths opens Foodtown.
1950s - 2000s: New Zealand enjoys a diversity of supermarkets over the decades, from Price Chopper to Pak'N'Save to Super Value.
2002: Supermarket choices dwindle as larger players buy up smaller retailers, until the duopoly is officially born when Progressive and Woolworths merge.
2000s - 2010s: New Zealand has one of the most concentrated grocery retailing sectors in the world with Foodstuffs and Woolworths now controlling at least 80% of the market. Complaints about the cost of food, as well as a lack of clarity around pricing, concerns for supplier treatment and impediments to new entrants entering the market grow louder.
November 2020: The Commerce Commission launches a market study to see if competition is working well in the grocery sector.
March 2022: The final report is released and confirms duopoly are making profits in excessive profits of $1 million a day at the expense of New Zealanders. A variety of recommendations to increase competition are made by the Commission.
May 2022: Consumer NZ launches a petition for the government to go beyond the recommendations, which receives 78,000 signatures.
July 2022: The Government indicates it will go further than Commerce Commission’s recommendations, with various measures underway to encourage healthier supermarket competition.
August 2022: The Government gives the duopoly a year to reach a supply agreement with wholesale customers, or be forced to sell at set prices by a regulator.
Consumers complain about supermarket offers that aren’t so special
- RNZ, 6 April 2023
More than 300 ‘dodgy’ supermarket deals uncovered by Consumer NZ
- Stuff, 6 April 2023
Consumer NZ says it received 300 examples of ‘dodgy’ supermarket specials
- 1 News, 6 April 2023
Consumer NZ renews calls to end ‘dodgy pricing practices’
- 1 News, 14 March 2023
Shoppers expose dodgy supermarket prices through Consumer NZ campaign
- Stuff, 19 Jan 2023
Cost of living crisis: Consumer NZ asks Kiwi shoppers to watch for ‘dodgy’ specials at supermarket
- Newshub, 22 September 2022
Shopping for change: Busting the supermarket duopoly
- RNZ, 18 July 2022
Supermarket code could mean more variety without higher prices, says minister
- Stuff, 6 July 2022
The tricks supermarkets use to get us to spend more money - and how to defeat them
- Stuff, 30 June 2022
The big wins for shoppers in the government’s supermarket shake-up
- The Spinoff, 7 June 2022