Woolworths and Coles customers rage over $30 watermelons

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Shocked customers have taken aim at Coles and Woolworths over the startling prices of watermelons, with prices almost four times what they were two years ago.

Screenshots of the pricey produce were posted online, showing Woolworths advertising a whole watermelon earlier this week for $30.80, while Coles had the same product for $31.20.

By Wednesday, Woolworths' prices had fallen to $25.52.

Customers were shocked by the price of watermelons at Coles and Woolworths. Source: AAP
Customers were shocked by the price of watermelons at Coles and Woolworths. Source: AAP

"Is this a typo or are you actually selling whole watermelons for this price?" one person said on Coles' Facebook page.

"$30 for a f**king watermelon. Now they're just taking the p**s out of us," one person said on Woolworths' Facebook page.

Prices almost four times higher than two years ago

The price per kilo for watermelon this week was $3.90 and $3.85 at Coles and Woolworths respectively based off an average 8kg watermelon.

A Woolworths catalogue from the end of April 2020 had watermelon advertised for just $1 per kilo – almost a quarter of the cost of this week's prices.

A 2020 Woolworths catalogue showing watermelon for $1 per kilo.
Watermelon was advertised at just $1 per kilo in April 2020. Source: Woolworths

Supermarkets reveal reason behind price rise

While the price might seem a little steep, both retailers said there was a reason behind it — it's not inflation, nor has it got to do with the recent spate of bad weather.

Spokespeople from Coles and Woolworths told Yahoo News Australia the price of a whole watermelon is due to seasonality.

Right now, it's between growing seasons, which can affect supply.

"The nature of fresh produce is seasonal and at Coles our focus is on Australian grown, quality and great value," a Coles spokesperson said.

"Watermelons are currently between seasons; however customers can currently get great value with fresh Australian White Grapes just $5 for a 500gm pack, Australian Modi apples at $3.90kg and Australian Imperial mandarins from $2.70kg."

A Woolworths spokesperson said the company pays the market price for fresh fruit and vegetables, which can be "influenced by a range of factors".

It's between watermelon season in Australia, which is why the price of watermelons have gone up. Source: Getty Images, file
It's between watermelon season in Australia, which is why the price of watermelons have gone up. Source: Getty Images, file

Some of the factors include seasonality, weather, and supply and demand.

"We’re working closely with our growers and expect supply to increase in the coming weeks as we move to the NT and Queensland watermelon growing seasons," the spokesperson said.

Both Coles and Woolworths have seasonality calendars to help customers pick produce that is in season and explain whether something is Australian grown or imported.

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