The supermarket, along with others including Woolworths and Harris Farm, has long offered the program for shoppers, which allows kids to grab a fresh piece of fruit while their parents shop in-store. But noticing its absence recently, a Victorian mum decided to question the staff.
"I have been to two locations in Victoria and both staff members told me they no longer offer it. Mind blown," she said in a video on social media. "I am very disappointed in Coles, and I hope this isn’t true across the board".
The furious mum who goes by @getsocialwithsammi on TikTok, called on the supermarket to "do better", and said, "clearly the person who made this decision does not have young kids that they have to go shopping with".
Not all stores will offer free fruit for kids: Coles
Coles confirmed the change to Yahoo News and said some stores, but not all, will still have the free offering for families.
"We are always looking at new ways to help Australians live and eat better every day, but it’s at the discretion of the store and not all stores have this offering," a spokesperson said.
Parents had been grateful for the opportunity to give fruit to their children for free while getting their shopping done.
"For me now I'm boycotting Coles," Sammi continued in her rant on social media. "I cannot shop there with a toddler. It's Woolworths for me from now on."
The news riled up other shoppers too with one mum admitting she was "so irritated" by the change. Others said "greed" was the reason for the change, noting the supermarket's billion-dollar profit last financial year and rising grocery prices — but some weren't too bothered by the change.
"I’d imagine they will eventually cave. All the skin of the fruit still consumed by kids will end up on the floor or there will be bite marks in fruit," said one. "They still don’t owe anyone free things," another said.
The Coles spokesperson said the supermarket remains focused on ways to encourage healthy eating among children. "Coles sell ‘kids’ packs’ of undersized fruit including apples, pears and mandarins that are perfect for school lunchboxes," they said.
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