Unit pricing helps shoppers compare prices before choosing an item off the shelf.
Unit pricing helps shoppers compare prices before choosing an item off the shelf.

Aldi slammed over unit price changes

EXCLUSIVE: LABELLING on grocery items has shrunk in font size making it much tougher for shoppers to work out if they are getting a good deal.

One of the nation's largest supermarkets - Aldi - has recently begun phasing in smaller unit price labelling across its 523 stores.

Unit pricing is labels underneath products on supermarket shelves allowing consumers to compare prices when buying groceries.

The cost of the item is broken down into standard units of measurement such as grams and litres so shoppers can compare deals.

Consumer groups have attacked the supermarket giant's move and called it "disappointing."

Aldi has almost halved the font size of unit pricing from 5mm to 3mm.

They have also changed the font from bold to regular print making it harder for customers to read.

Unit pricing in an Aldi supermarket. The new unit pricing is on the left and old unit pricing is on the right. Picture: Supplied.
Unit pricing in an Aldi supermarket. The new unit pricing is on the left and old unit pricing is on the right. Picture: Supplied.

The Queensland Consumers Association's spokesman, Ian Jarratt, said Aldi had "stuffed up this time" and needed to review the amended labelling.

"The unit prices are much less prominent and legible for shoppers so they are less likely to notice and use them to help make decisions about what they are going to buy," he said.

"The consequence is shoppers don't necessarily get the best value and they end up potentially spending more."

An Aldi spokesman confirmed they have begun phasing in new price labelling to help "declutter" information provided to shoppers.

He said they were only interested in "providing clear and clean information to our customers" and were phasing in new instore printers to publish the labels.

"As a market leader in the adoption and promotion of unit pricing we have no interest in minimising this information," the Aldi spokesman said.

"Our new printers are now in more than 75 per cent of our stores."

Their unit pricing labels were previously printed at one location but are now printed using new machines at each individual supermarket.

Mr Jarratt said he was baffled why Aldi's new printers could not print labels like they previously did.

He said the new labelling discriminated against shoppers with eyesight problems and disabilities.

Consumer group Choice's spokeswoman Katinka Day said Aldi's move was "disappointing."

"Unit pricing is such an important tool and people tell us the main issue with it is legibility and not being able to read it," she said.

"I would be really surprised if consumers find the new version of the labelling to be more useful."
Rival supermarket Coles slightly changed their unit pricing displays in June, making the writing less compressed but have still kept it the same size.

A 10-year review of unit pricing will begin in 2019.