A Melbourne man has criticised Coles for charging more for unpackaged fruit and veg than for their loose counterparts.
The man visited Coles at Coburg North on Sunday and posted photos on Facebook of the tomatoes both packaged in plastic and unpackaged.
“How do you figure?” he wrote.
“Charging double the price for a product which has less processing involved.
“We should be moving away from single-use packages, yet you charge double for environmentally concerned shoppers.”
A woman wrote consumers were becoming conditioned to “require plastic”.
“Be the frontrunners Coles and just remove all plastic in your fresh produce section and any bags at check out,” she wrote.
“Most people don't care if they forget their bags because they know they can get cheap ones at the register.”
In response to the man, Coles wrote “there are a number of factors that can affect the overall pricing on individual items”.
The supermarket wrote these costs include transportation, manufacturing and stock availability.
“Please also be advised that this soft plastic packaging can be recycled in our RedCycle in-store bins,” Coles wrote.
“That said, we'll be sure to share your comments with our merch team to consider, and we're sorry for any disappointment.”
Coles’ reasoning was explained in depth in November by retail expert Professor Gary Mortimer from Queensland University of Technology.
“The reason why we see a variance is the cost to fill loose fruit and vegetables is higher than putting say 20 containers of one-kilogram boxes onto a shelf,” Professor Mortimer said.
“Stocking shelves with loose fruit and veg is a difficult, slow process.”
Professor Mortimer said supermarkets receive fruit and veg packaged or loose. They don’t package the items themselves.
Yahoo News Australia has contacted Coles for comment.
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