Not so long ago, a packet of chips and a soft drink was a relatively cheap option for an arvo pick-me-up, but Aussie supermarket shoppers are seeing red after discovering the classic combo could cost you over $15.
A disgruntled IGA customer has shared a photo of 165g packs of Sea Salt Kettle Chips on sale for $4.50, which doesn't seem so bad, until you look closer and see that's "more than 45% off" for a saving of $4.34. This means one bag of the crisps is $8.84 at full price.
"I don't even walk through the chips aisle anymore. Just looking at the price tags gives me heart palpitations," a Reddit user responded, while others bemoaned the cost of healthier options, like vegetables.
In the same week, a fellow shopper shared a pic of 600ml bottles of Coca-Cola selling for a whopping $7 at an airport store. "Didn't buy it. Was just waiting in line to grab a coffee and noticed... and just about fell over. I still think it's outrageous, even for an airport," the shopper wrote.
What shoppers can do amid price hikes
Retailers have been increasing food and drink prices for months, especially for packaged items, as their suppliers face rising costs for commodities, energy and labour. While it's not surprising these costs are passed onto customers, the fact that supermarkets are posting billion-dollar profits has been a hard pill to swallow for Aussies struggling to make ends meet.
Associate Professor at the University of Sydney Business School Andrew Grant says leaving the Coke and chips on the shelf was the best move the customers in question could've made, as consumers will force change by shopping around. "A part of it is that people are loyal to particular brands and they're not so willing to switch if the price goes up," he told Yahoo News Australia.
"Unless people are willing to shop around or switch, there's no incentive for the supermarket to put the price down. So, people need to pay attention to how much these things cost and be willing to say no if the price gets too high," he explained.
As for when and if we can expect prices to decrease, Professor Grant isn't holding out much hope. "I can't imagine that prices are going to come down too much, they might just stop growing as quickly as they have been of late," he said.
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