Coles shopper's shock as price of popular snack soars by 40%

Once an affordable snack, a bag of potato chips is now viewed by many as a luxury item.

A photo taken by a Coles customer showing potato chips on "special" has highlighted the toll inflation is having on household budgets as food prices in the country continue to soar.

"What a deal," the stunned shopper shared on social media, alongside a snap of Red Rock Deli chips on sale. "Two for $10 is now a 'special'."

Though several Reddit users acknowledged the potato chips in the photo are generally more expensive than the average bag, many couldn't help but compare prices with Coles rival Aldi, where the cost of a premium bag is about $3. "Didn't know eating crisps in Aus would be a luxury," one user commented online.

"Just go get Aldi's branded deli chips... fraction of the cost," another suggested.

Red Rock Deli chips on sale at Coles
While some may view it as a good deal, many Aussies lamented how potato chips were becoming a "luxury", thanks to rising costs. Source: Reddit

"Why do people buy chips anymore? They are so expensive and the bags are smaller than ever before (not the bag size, but the contents)," another added. Other members of the community reminisced about the days when the bags were retailing for about $3, with some stating they've given up buying them altogether.

Chip prices over the years

Potato chip prices have been on a steady increase over the years. In 2018, a 175g bag of Thins potato chips at Coles cost $3.20 and could be as low as $1.60 when on special, while a Red Rock Deli Special Reserve bag of chips cost $4.50 ($2.25 on special). Natural Chip Co Potato chips were only $2.50 ($2 on special).

In 2020, a look at prices from an old Coles catalogue showed Red Rock Deli potato chips retailing for $4.65 ($2.32 on special), while CC's and Thins were going for an average of $3.50 each, but would sometimes be available in a two for $5 special.

Today, a bag of Red Rock Deli potato chips costs about $6.30 unless it's on special, while Natural Chip Co bags cost about $4.70 costs ($2.35 on special). Meanwhile, a 170g bag of Smiths potato chips retails for $4.80 at full price.

"This is why I shop at Aldi. I got almost 2kg of marinated chicken on special yesterday for $7.50 and practically danced out of the shop," another Redditor chimed in – a statement that accentuates the concerns of many Aussies trying to stretch the weekly household budget.

Food and grocery prices up

This comes on the back of a UBS report that showed food and grocery prices at Coles and Australia's largest supermarket, Woolworths, had gone up by nearly 10 per cent in the past year.

UBS, which collated data tracked from over 60,000 items at the supermarkets, saw prices of food items such as dry goods rising by 9.4 per cent while fresh food prices rose 9.9 per cent in 12 months.

Both supermarkets, however, disputed the report, noting that the investment bank uses a different methodology to measure inflation.

Coles and Woolworths hold about 70 per cent of the country's grocery market, while Aldi has an 11 per cent share.

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