Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire took to the airwaves last week to highlight some of the current problems with price labels in our supermarkets.
Jo was on BBC Radio 4's consumer programme 'You and Yours' to talk about a new campaign to fight confusing pricing that includes a Private Members Bill in Parliament and teaming up with the consumer watchdog Which?.
Jo is 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.
Commenting Jo Swinson said:
"Last week at the M&S in Bearsden tomatoes were priced per tomato and per kg. In theTesco in Kirkintilloch mayonnaise was priced per 100g and per 100ml. Without a scale and a calculator how would anyone work out the better deal?
"A 3 for 2 deal at the Co-operative in Lenzie did not include the price of each individual item. Sometimes with these promotional offers you take home items you never wanted in the first place because they're on special. But without the unit price how do you know you're actually getting a good deal?
"I'm urging local residents to help me change the law by signing the pledge for clear and simple pricing which they can do on my website. They'll also find other examples and the latest updates:www.joswinson.org.uk/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).