Shocking Coles and Woolworths prices send Reddit into a spin: 'What's going on?’

Coles and Woolworths shoppers have watched as prices of everything from soft drinks to petrol have soared over the past few months, and now it appears vegetables are joining the list.

Reddit users were sent into a spin earlier this week when users Hashtronawt and Axwe8 shared photos from the produce sections of their local supermarkets.

The pics showed broccoli retailing at a whopping $9.90 per kilo, whilst whole iceberg lettuce was advertised at $5.50 each.

“Madness, never been a better time to start a veggie garden!” one of the Redditors joked of the broccoli price.

Coles Broccoli for $9.90/kg and lettuce for $5.50 each
Reddit users were torn over the reason for the dramatic price increases at Coles and Woolworths. Source: Reddit/Axwe8/Hashtronawt

Many Redditors identified the photographs as having been snapped at Coles, while others confirmed similar price rises at their local Woolworths stores.

“At Woolies yesterday I saw one of those ‘prices dropped’ tags at $22 for a 30-pack of soft drink, down from $32 on February 28,” one person wrote.

“$7.90 for a Wombok cabbage for my bunnies!'' said another.

“I went into Woolies recently planning on buying a cauliflower until I saw they were $8 each,” commented a third.

Woolworths truck pulling past a Coles sign. Source: Getty Images
Coles and Woolworths say they are working to provide value to customers where they can, with Woolworths offering "Odd Bunch" vegetables at a discount, and Coles working to keep prices of key items such as pasta from rising. Source: Getty Images

“My local Coles and Woolies have both put their prices up across the board, something like 10 to 20% in the last few weeks. You don't notice it until you encounter something where you remember the old price,” added a fourth.

“Nearly everything I routinely buy seems to have increased 15-20%. The increases are not small. What's going on?” asked a fifth.

Redditors speculate on reasons for veggie price rises

The images have sparked a debate on Reddit, where users are trying to figure out the reason for the sudden price increases.

“Between war, floods, droughts, struggling economy etc, we won't be able to cheaply get everything all the time,” one person wrote.

“We just had some of the worst floods in history hit the middle of the east coast, which has destroyed supply lines and stock, this is not just a part of inflation,” claimed another.

“Could be Coles and Woolworths price gouging?” said a third.

Other Redditors have wondered if the price changes have anything to do with the recently announced budget.

“Good thing the LNP are gonna fling you a measly $250 so you can buy your 45-odd lettuces,” one commenter joked.

Coles and Woolworths respond to backlash over recent price rises

Spokespersons from both Coles and Woolworths have previously told Yahoo News that supermarkets are working hard to provide value to customers amid unprecedented factors.

"We appreciate that there are a number of factors driving inflation for all retailers, including increases in the cost of raw materials, energy price rises, freight costs, extreme weather events and ongoing Covid-19 impacts," a Coles spokesperson said.

A representative of Woolworths told Yahoo News the supermarket is working to "sensitively manage the industry-wide inflationary pressure on food and groceries".

"We’re always working to strike the right balance to offer our customers high quality and affordable fresh produce, while paying a fair market price to our suppliers," the rep said.

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