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Coles shoppers ditch these supermarket staples

The cost-of-living crisis is having an unfortunate effect on Aussies’ personal-hygiene habits.

Coles supermarket and shoppers.
The rising cost of living is forcing Coles shoppers to cut back on these essentials. (Source: Getty/AAP)

Aussies are cutting back on personal-hygiene products like body wash and hand soap, as well as household cleaning products, as the cost of living spirals.

Internal sales documents from Australia’s second-largest supermarket, Coles, have revealed the products shoppers are buying less of.

The figures, leaked to The Australian, found bath soap and body wash sales had plummeted by 33.3 per cent for the 12 months to May.


Hand-sanitiser soaps and washes were down 29.8 per cent in sales, while hand wash was down 7.1 per cent.

Shoppers are also ditching household cleaning products, with environmentally friendly cleaning product sales down 15.9 per cent, bathroom cleaning products down 15 per cent and disinfectant cleaning products down 10.9 per cent.

Scourers and sponges, multi-purpose cleaning products and carpet cleaner sales also fell, despite being normally dependable growth categories.

A Coles spokesperson said sales of cleaning products were higher than usual last year due to the pandemic and flu season, but noted sales were also being impacted by cost-of-living pressures.

“We know some customers are changing their purchasing behaviour in response to the cost of living,” a spokesperson told The Australian.

What else are Aussies cutting back on?

New research by Compare the Market found one in two Aussies were now cutting back on their spending at the grocery store.

Takeaway meals and eating out are also on the chopping block, with 70 per cent of the 1,002 Aussie adults surveyed opting for cheaper, home-cooked meals instead.

Compare the Market’s Noémi Hadnagy said Aussie households were also looking for cheaper alternatives when shopping.

“Our data shows that people are saving a quick buck by being disloyal to brands and purchasing items like cleaning products, milk, bread and pantry staples based on their price tag,” Hadnagy said.

More Aussies were also cutting back on health appointments, beauty treatments, car servicing and their gym membership in the past three months, the findings found.

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