The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today issued guidance for grocery retailers about their obligations under the new Unit Pricing Code.

Unit pricing is the cost of an item in a standard unit of measurement alongside its selling price. Different types of grocery items use different measurements, for example the shelf label for milk would show the price per litre alongside the selling price, but shampoo would be priced per 100ml.

The code comes into effect on July 1 and requires larger supermarkets and online retailers to comply by December 1 2009.

"Unit pricing offers a number of benefits, including allowing shoppers to more easily compare the price of products in different sizes and between different brands products," Chairman, Graeme Samuel, said today.

The code has been prescribed by the Australian government as a mandatory code of conduct under the Trade Practices Act 1974, which gives it the force of law.

To help grocery retailers understand their obligations under the code, the ACCC has developed a number of education tools which include:

  • Unit pricing: a guide for grocery retailers  - which provides information on grocery retailers rights and responsibilities under the code
  • Unit pricing: a quick guide - to help grocery retailers quickly decide if the code applies to them.

    The business guidance is now available on the ACCC's website and will be available in hard copy from mid-July.

Consumer information is also available on the ACCC's website, explaining the changes and what consumers can expect with the introduction of unit pricing in some supermarkets.

For more information about unit pricing or to obtain any of the business materials, call the ACCC’s unit pricing hotline on 1300 746 245.