Unit pricing

  • Shops that sell groceries often show a unit price alongside the total selling price of a product.
  • Unit prices help consumers compare prices and find the best value for money.
  • There are rules about who must display unit prices, where, how, and for what products.

What the ACCC does

What the ACCC can't do

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

About unit pricing

Businesses that sell groceries often show a unit price alongside the total selling price of a product. Unit pricing helps consumers compare prices and find the best value for money.

A unit price shows how much the product costs using a standard unit of measurement.

The standard unit of measurement used depends on the type of product. Units may be by weight, volume, length, area or number.

Some examples of standard units are:

  • Beef: price per kilogram
  • Laundry detergent: price per litre
  • Avocados: price per avocado.

Example of unit prices

In this example, the first container of laundry detergent is better value. Although the selling price is more, the price per litre is less.

Who must display unit prices

There are rules about which businesses must display unit prices, where, how, and for what products. These rules are contained in the Unit Pricing Code.

Most supermarkets, large grocery stores, and online grocery stores must display unit pricing, in store, online and in advertising.

Smaller stores and stores that don’t sell a wide range of groceries don't have to display unit pricing, but they can choose to.

Products that are unit priced

Unit prices must be shown for most everyday grocery items like food, drinks, cleaning and personal products.

Some products, including hardware, appliances and clothing, don't need to display a unit price. These exemptions are listed in the Unit Pricing Code.

Unit pricing when there are 2 or more items

Unit pricing must be displayed where 2 or more of the same grocery items are offered for a single price. 

Bundles of different types of grocery items don't require unit pricing.

Unit pricing is not required where similar items of different sizes and weights are sold at a single price.

Using unit prices when shopping

We have a guide to help consumers understand unit pricing and how to use it when shopping.

This fact sheet provides more tips on how unit pricing can help you save money when grocery shopping and is also available in a range of languages other than English.
18 Sep 2020

We also have a video explaining how unit pricing works in practice.

See also

Unit Pricing Code

Price displays

Grocery Inquiry 2008

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