Supermarket fruit offers confusing shoppers

A new investigation into supermarket pricing tactics has highlighted key problems with fruit prices .
Consumer watchdog Which? found supermarkets are giving inconsistent and unclear unit pricing, which makes it hard for customers to work out whether it is cheaper to buy bagged or loose fruit .
Which? researchers compared the cost of loose and bagged fruit at six grocery retailers – Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer.
In Asda, they found that a 400g punnet of plums was priced at £2.50 per kg, while a pack of six were priced at 25p per plum.
In Tesco, the unit price of two mangos was marked as £0.88 each, whereas packaged mango chunks were labelled as £0.67 per 100g. The situation was similar at Waitrose, where a pack of two mangos had a unit price of £1.25 each, while 200g of mango chunks were priced at 99.5p per 100g.
Which? said customers are likely to be confused by such offers and has called on supermarkets to show clearer and consistent unit pricing per weight, volume or item.
It said that by displaying the unit price clearly and prominently on labels, and using a consistent measure – with all products giving a ‘price per kg’ or ‘price per litre’ – shoppers would be able to easily compare costs and save money on their fruit purchases.
However, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) defended the supermarket practice, saying: “The law gives shops the option of selling by weight or by unit for products such as pre-packed fruit and vegetables. With some things – eggs, apples, bananas – how many they’re getting matters more to customers than the overall weight.
“Customers aren’t fools and have no difficulty finding best value.”