Update - December 2013:
All 10 supermarkets have committed to clearer pricing: http://www.which.co.uk/campaigns/food-prices/
Update from Jo - September 2012:
Now that I am the Minister responsible for this area, I have withdrawn my Private Members Bill on Price Marking (Consumer Information).
Transparency is important so that consumers have the best information possible to make good choices. I will continue to work for that from within Government as the Minister responsible for Consumer Affairs.
Supermarkets need to price it right
Confusion in the shopping aisles could become a thing of the past thanks to my Private Members Bill on clearer pricing making its way through Parliament. I’m fighting to make price labels easier to understand so consumers can keep more money in their pockets when doing the weekly shop.
I’ve teamed up with consumer watchdog Which?, and am urging members of the public to sign a pledge to make supermarkets use clear, simple price labelling and to tweet and send pictures of bad examples to @whichaction using the hashtag #priceitright.
In the UK the cost of living is rising, household budgets are squeezed and looking for bargains in the supermarket aisle has become a necessity for so many people.
It can be hard to spot the best deal when price labels are all over the place – inconsistent, unclear and confusing.
I want members of the public to join my campaign for supermarkets to display clearer and simpler information on how much things like fruit, veg, and bread cost.
Tweet or send pics of confusing unit pricing to @whichaction using the hashtag #priceitright.
According to a Which? survey of 1256 GB adults, weighted to be representative of the general population, surveyed between 15-17 Nov 2011 around 8 in 10 people are aware of unit prices and over half have used unit pricing when shopping for food.
The same Which? research found that three quarters of people who have used unit pricing say that it helps them make the most of their budget by allowing them to buy the best value product.
In June 2011, Which? carried out an online survey of 1009 members of the public weighted to be representative of the British population to establish the reaction to increasing food prices. It revealed that seventy two per cent of people found it annoying when items are not priced by unit and less than half (46 per cent) thought that the print on shelf labels giving the unit price was large enough to easily read.
The November 2011 research on unit pricing found that while 81 per cent were aware of unit pricing, only 55 per cent were using it – the top reason for not doing so being that it is too time consuming (34 per cent) and difficult to compare when measurements are not consistent (29 per cent).