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Coles, Woolworths bumping brands off shelves: Choice
02/04/2012 - Coles and Woolworths are progressively pushing their generic-branded products while bumping established brands off their shelves, consumer group Choice says.
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The advocacy group says a new investigation has revealed how the two dominant supermarkets are using poorer shelf positioning and copycat packaging to advantage their own brands over established ones.
The watchdog says it's received feedback from shoppers that the generic brands are replacing other brands and its investigation shows consumers are not imagining things.
Consumers may be saving some money but it's bad news for independent suppliers' brands, Choice says.
"When two brands compete for space on the shelf and when one of those brands is owned by the supermarket, it's not hard to figure out who the winner is going to be," Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said in a statement on Sunday.
"The generic labels are very effective, it is easy to mistakenly pick up generic brand products because they look just like established brands.
"For the consumer who is watching their budget, the rise of generic brands may be a good thing.
"For the shopper who wants an independent product however, their choices become more limited."
Choice says one in four supermarket products are currently generic and this will grow to one in three by 2016.
Just said shoppers should use people power - if their favourite brands disappear, tell the store or go elsewhere.
Source: AAP NewsWire
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Ron | 2/04/2012 10:23 1
This practice is very noticable in Coles and Woolworths, so I have recently started the weekly shop at an independent, with an occasional visit to the two bullies for specials.
IndustrySearchSarah | 4/04/2012 11:21 2
Ron, the term 'bullies' is apt here. Where has competition and fair practice dissolved to? I can not believe we have allowed such a dominance in this country, not even the UK or US has a dominance by two operators. How can farmers and small businesses producing products survive when they're pushing their home branded made overseas brands at such low prices. Guess it comes down to the consumer, we need to buy locally and buy through independents. The produce is tastier and you'll feel good about putting your dollars out of the bullies hands.
archibald | 4/04/2012 11:24 3
Well Ron seems like you want to have your cake and eat it too. Anyone can shop anywhere his conscience lets him shop. Fee choice Mmmmm.. Don't forget about the king whose ego was fed by his supporters to the point that he believed he could stop the tide comming in, his chair (throne) on the beach became a chair in the water!!
IndustrySearch Chris | 4/04/2012 12:24 4
I'm not sure I get the King Canute analogy, and this is off topic, but for the record he didn't believe he could stop the tide, he was demonstrating to his subjects that even though he was king, he was not all powerful. Just saying.
archibald | 4/04/2012 12:45 5
Thanks Chris. Just buy the specials at the big Two and the rest elsewhere but dont think the tide will stop. Yes every body make it better by one. Sorry my analogy was a bit ignorantly misplaced; I'm a bit like that.
NWilks | 17/04/2012 08:49 6
We all need to band together here. Is there a group website, petition or otherwise where people can post evidence of these dirty practices, and 'bullying' of other brands off the shelves? Is there an advocacy group that can bring people together on this? Its hard enought to get choice in Australia without Coles and Woolworths monopolising the market!
IndustrySearch Wes | 17/04/2012 10:26 7
I agree with archibald. As is continually mentioned within the story, there are two distinct approaches one takes when shopping for weekly groceries: one based on price, the other based on brand. I don't think what supermarkets do ("generic-brand precendence") should be considered "bully tactics" - there's always been a consistent range and variety of products on shelves - all manufactured and processed in roughly the same way (especially items in the fruit juice aisle).
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