Coles has quietly lowered its milk prices, after the supermarket giant came under fire for hiking them last year.
Coles “reluctantly raised” the price of its Own Brand milk by 10 cents a litre in September 2023, blaming “ongoing cost increases in the supply chain” for the move. Customers called out the price hike at the time, with one labelling it a “sneaky” rise. Others said they didn’t have a problem with the increase “as long as it goes to the dairy farmers”.
Now, it’s been revealed the supermarket backflipped on this decision in November, with prices back to pre-September levels. This has lowered prices to $1.60 for a one-litre carton, $3.10 for two litres and $4.50 for three litres. The change also brings its prices back in line with rival Woolworths.
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A Coles spokesperson confirmed the price change and stressed the move would not impact the prices paid to its farmers.
“We know cost-of-living pressures are front of mind for many Australians, which is why, in November, we lowered the shelf price of Coles Own Brand milk,” a Coles spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.
“We pride ourselves on giving customers the best value possible, including our Own Brand range.”
The spokesperson said helping customers with cost-of-living challenges remained its “number one priority” and noted the supermarket lowered the prices of more than 300 items in January.
“We highly value the longstanding relationships with our dairy farmers and there has been no reduction in the prices paid to our farmers as a result of the change,” the spokesperson added.
How much have milk prices increased?
Coles cut the price of milk to $1 a litre back in 2011 - a move that was quickly matched by rivals Woolworths and Aldi. This lowered the price of milk by around one-third and caused backlash from farmers.
Prices then remained the same for the next eight years. It wasn’t until 2019 that the three major supermarkets lifted their home-brand milk prices by 10 cents a litre to support farmers. Prices then started to slowly increase.
Coles and Woolworths first raised their home-brand milk prices to the current levels of $1.60 a litre, $3.10 for two litres and $4.50 for three litres back in July 2022.