It's not only food staples being hit with staggering price hikes as Aussies despair at the rising cost of living. A host of other items are also jumping in price — with a 22 per cent "overnight" increase on chewing gum infuriating a Woolworths shopper who relies on the product.
"I regularly buy sugar free gum due to a dry mouth condition, as recommended by both my dentist and rheumatologist, and it forms part of my weekly shop ... it's a necessity."
Catherine has been buying the strawberry-flavoured multipack for years, however, she noticed two weeks ago the price increased from $4.50 to $5.50.
"It's at the end of the aisle and I went to reach out for it, and straightaway it [the price] jumped out at me," she said. "Twenty-two per cent literally overnight is unacceptable."
Price increase quickly reflected by competitors
Catherine claims competitor Coles, as well as Big W and Kmart, still had the product priced at $4.50 when she noticed the new price at Woolworths and decided to stock up on the gum, however, the product has since increased in price to $5.50.
"They don't realise how much work goes into doing your shopping list and make your shopping list work with your finances ... It's an insult thinking we're so ignorant and excited about their discounts that we're not going to notice it putting everything else up. I mean, it's just a slap in the face."
Shoppers are being battered by significant price increases at both Woolworths and Coles, with everything from the beloved roasted chicken to every-day food products like milk and olive oil being hit with price hikes. Last week a disgruntled Sydney man printed the words 'The price gouge people' beneath a Woolworths logo, as well as defacing a Coles logo. He appeared to share the views of many who are angry at the supermarkets for making huge profits while prices are increasing.
Wrigley's respond to 22 per cent price hike
A spokesperson for Wrigley's gum told Yahoo a range of external factors have driven "unprecedented cost pressures" across their operations.
"It has been necessary to adjust pricing to ensure we can continue to manufacture and supply our products. As always, retailers maintain the ability to set the final sale price of our products, and this is the reason some prices may vary from store to store," the Mars Wrigley spokesperson said.
Expert's theory over price hike
Consumer expert Gary Mortimer said it was "unlikely" Woolworths competitors simply followed suit with the price increase and instead believes it is likely buyers at the supermarkets had a product contract renewal with the brand to contend with.
"I think it's more the case that Wrigley's, or the brand behind them, their supply contract of product came up for renewal [at the supermarkets]," he told Yahoo. "When that old product had been moved from warehouse to store any new product being received would be at the higher cost price."
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