Woolworths caught out seriously short-changing customer on mince

The supermarket giant says it is investigating after a customer was left with 20 per cent less than the advertised packaging.

A Woolworths store front (left) and the minced beef packet on top of a kitchen scale which reads 784g.
A Woolworths customer blasted the supermarket after the 1kg minced beef only weighed 784g on his kitchen scales. Source: Getty and X

Woolworths is being pushed for answers after a disgruntled shopper found a 1kg packet of beef mince he purchased actually only weighed 784 grams – package and all.

The customer bought the mince from his local Woolies store in Delacombe, a town northwest of Melbourne on Thursday last week and weighed the meat using his kitchen scales. It was then he made the frustrating discovery that he had been significantly short changed, taking to social media to call out the supermarket giant over the discrepancy.

"Is there a different kind of kilogram that I don't know about?" he questioned. "Or is a 20 per cent gain on your behalf 'within tolerance'?"

He continued by saying he was unable to request an exchange or refund for the meat as he needed it for dinner that night, and a 70 kilometre round trip back to his closest Woolies wasn't viable.

The supermarket confirmed to Yahoo News it is investigating the matter and has requested further information from the shopper after his complaint. It urged anyone who experiences this to reach out to the supermarket to rectify the issue.

"If ever our customers are concerned about the weight of a product, we'd encourage them to return it to our store," a Woolworths spokesperson said. "This not only allows us to issue a refund, but also helps to ensure we have the product details we need to investigate further."

Woolworths, like many other supermarkets, adhere to the Average Quantity System (AQS) to produce pre-packed products on a large scale. This means items need to be within a specific weight or size range to what is marked on the label and this 'tolerable deficiency' ensures customer get what they paid for without large production lines needing to produce precisely exact quantities.

The 'e' symbol often spotted on labels indicates an item was packaged in adherence to the AQS.

An item labelled between 500g and 1 kg can only be 15g off its labelled weight in accordance with the AQS, meaning the mince purchased by the man at the Delacombe store fell well outside the acceptable range.

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