Unit Pricing Code

  • Unit prices help consumers compare prices and find the best value for money.
  • The Unit Pricing Code sets out the rules for unit pricing. It is mandatory for many grocery retailers, both bricks-and-mortar and online.
  • The code sets out rules around where, how, and for what products unit pricing is required.

What the ACCC does

  • We enforce the Unit Pricing Code, a mandatory industry code under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

What the ACCC doesn't do

  • We don’t resolve individual complaints about unit pricing.

About the Unit Pricing Code

The Unit Pricing Code is a mandatory industry code under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. It sets out the rules for which businesses must display unit prices, where, how, and for what products.

Unit pricing:

  • shows how much a product costs using a standard unit of measurement
  • helps consumers compare prices and find the best value for money.

Who needs to follow the code

Grocery retailers selling certain items

Grocery retailers that sell items from all the following categories may need to follow the Unit Pricing Code:

  • bread
  • breakfast cereal
  • butter
  • eggs
  • flour
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • fresh milk
  • meat
  • rice
  • sugar
  • other packaged food.

Online businesses

Online businesses that sell items from all the listed categories must follow the code.

Physical businesses

Physical businesses are those that offer products and services to customers face to face in a store or office.

Physical businesses that sell items from all the listed categories:

  • must follow the code if they have used more than 1000 square metres of floor space to sell groceries
  • can choose to follow the code if they have used less than 1000 square metres of floor space to sell groceries.

This means not all businesses selling grocery items will display unit pricing. Smaller stores or online stores that sell a limited range of grocery items may not display unit pricing. Grocery retailers that follow the code must follow all the rules it sets out.

Display of unit prices

Grocery retailers covered by the code must display unit prices in-store, online and in advertising.

Unit prices must:

  • stand out so they are easily seen
  • be easy to read
  • be accurate and clear in meaning
  • be positioned close to the selling price.

Unit prices must be in dollars and cents, rounded to the nearest cent.

Unit measurements to use

The unit of measurement to use for a unit price depends on:

  • the type of product
  • how the product is usually sold.

For example:

  • fruits, vegetables and meats must either be priced per item or per kilogram if they are usually sold by weight
  • beverages must be priced per litre
  • make-up must be priced per item, per 10 grams if sold by weight, or per 10 millilitres if sold by volume.

Read our guide to unit pricing for grocery retailers. It includes a full list of unit measurements.

Products that don't require unit pricing

Unit pricing must be shown on all products, unless they are listed in the code as an exemption. In practice, this means most food, drinks, cleaning and personal products must be unit priced.

However, because it wouldn’t make sense to require unit pricing for every type of product, some type of products don’t require unit pricing.

Household goods and appliances

Unit prices don’t need to be shown for:

  • toys
  • furniture
  • manchester
  • haberdashery
  • hardware items
  • books, magazines and stationery
  • flowers, including fresh, dried and imitation flowers
  • household appliances
  • kitchen and bathroom utensils
  • garden tools, and items for garden or pool maintenance or decoration.

Electrical and other equipment

Unit prices don’t need to be shown for:

  • computer equipment
  • audio-visual equipment
  • telecommunications items or equipment
  • sports and camping equipment
  • photography items and equipment
  • electrical items (except batteries and light bulbs)
  • optical discs and magnetic storage devices used for computing, sound reproduction or video, whether or not they are pre-loaded with content.

Some food, beverages and personal products

Unit prices don’t need to be shown for:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • meals made by retail outlets for customers to eat immediately
  • clothing, jewellery and other fashion items (except make-up)
  • cigarettes and other tobacco products, including nicotine replacement products.

Facilities and services

Unit prices don’t need to be shown for:

  • goods for hire
  • items in vending machines
  • items for motor vehicle maintenance or repair
  • services, and goods supplied as part of providing a service, including mobile phone recharges.

Bundled, grouped and marked down products

Unit prices don’t need to be shown for:

  • different grocery items sold together or ‘bundled’ for a single price
  • a range of different items offered for the same price, for example, ‘all lipsticks $5.50’
  • perishable items marked down when they approach their use by date
  • products marked down because they or their packaging are damaged
  • products marked down because they are discontinued.

See also

This guide explains what grocery retailers need to know about unit pricing, including
1 Oct 2021
This pamphlet provides information to help grocery retailers quickly work out whether they are affected by the unit pricing code.
16 Dec 2010

Grocery unit prices

Price displays

Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes—Unit Pricing) Regulations 2021