Coles accused of deceptive pricing 'trick': 'Beware of this'

A shopper has accused the retailer of misleading pricing practices, but not everyone's convinced.

Coles has been called out by an angry customer over an apparently deceptive pricing practice involving fresh bananas. "Be aware of marketing tricks like this," the Melbourne shopper posted on Facebook, along with two photos of the products in question.

The photos show two signs, one displaying "Bananas" and the other "Coles Kids Bananas", each with a headline price of $4.50. At first glance you might think the two types of bananas cost the same, but on closer inspection, the "Kids Bananas" are actually 33 per cent more expensive as the large figure refers to their price per 750 grams, rather than per kilogram.

Coles Kids Bananas
At first glance, the Kids Bananas appear to cost the same as regular bananas. Source: Facebook

Although the images appear to show no difference in the two types of bananas under each sign, Coles Kids Bananas are packaged in 750-gram bunches with a label and barcode. It's unclear why the Kids Bananas cost $6 per kilogram as opposed to the $4.50 per kilogram that other bananas cost.

Some Facebook users said they didn't think the pricing was misleading, admitting they knowingly opt for the smaller, more expensive bananas. "Don't buy the kids pack then," replied one such shopper to the author of the post. "Some people are happy to pay the extra for the small size banana, I don't see how that's a 'trick'. If people read the price label it's pretty obvious and clearly stated."

Coles Kids Bananas
Coles Kids Bananas cost $1.50 more per kilogram than regular bananas. Source: Coles

Weight debate rages on

Others agreed, explaining why they prefer the smaller bananas. "They're perfect size for a smoothie, with the bigger ones I end up with half or a quarter in a ziplock bag in the fridge until the next day," commented one shopper. "You pay for the convenience of smaller bananas to go in lunchboxes," added another.

However others disagreed, saying the difference in price simply doesn't add up. "Oh, so the SMALLER item is more expensive, and it's definitely not a trick? Righto, got it," wrote one shopper. "You are getting less banana, so surely it should cost less than the bigger banana," someone else replied.

Recent research from consumer group CHOICE showed that such marketing tactics can have a big effect on sales, with just 44% of shoppers using unit pricing to save money on their shop and many easily distracted by sales promotions or regular prices displayed prominently.

In response to a request for comment on the matter, a spokesperson for Coles told Yahoo News Australia, "We sell specially marked Coles Kids Pack Bananas for a healthy snack packed full of nutrients but which still fits snugly in any child's lunchbox."

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