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Woolworths photo exposes ‘everything wrong’ with supermarkets

Frustrated Aussies have been encouraged to share the “worst examples of price gouging” at supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles.

A photo snapped by a Woolworths shopper has laid bare just how expensive groceries are right now, with many frustrated customers accusing the supermarket giants of price gouging.

Popular Aussie Instagram account Toilet Paper Australia asked its followers to share their “worst examples of price gouging” by Woolworths and Coles.

And they delivered, with the account noting it saw some “shockingly bad examples” from the duopoly. However, one of a Woolworths capsicum showed “everything that’s wrong … in a single photo”.

Composite image of Woolworths capsicums priced at $16.90 and Woolworths supermarket store front.
Aussie shoppers are accusing Woolworths and Coles of price gouging and say this picture is proof. (Source: Toilet Paper Australia/Getty)

Do you have a story to share? Contact tamika.seeto@yahooinc.com

The picture shows packs of two organic red capsicums priced at $16.90 - or more than $8 each for a single capsicum and $42.25 per kilogram.

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“There is no mental gymnastics, no justification, no way on Earth you can defend Woolworths asking for $8 for a single capsicum,” the caption reads.

Woolworths is currently selling non-organic red capsicums for $2.23 each on its website.

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A number of Aussies took to the comments to criticise the supermarket, with one labelling the photo “insanity”.

“‘Feed your family for under $10’. Bro, best I can do is one and a half capsicums,” one user commented.

“How on Earth could red capsicum possibly be worth $42 a kilo ??” another said.

Other users noted the capsicums in question were organic and pointed out this would play into the price.

"We’re acutely aware of the pressure that’s being placed on Australian families through cost of living increases, whether they are our customers or our team members," a Woolworths spokesperson said.

"And we’re doing more everyday to help customers spend less with us."

Aussie shocked at price of grocery shop

A Woolworths customer has also gone viral after sharing their shock at paying $380 for a smaller trolley of groceries.

“Some bacon, did get a baby formula in there, that was $30 but even still. There’s a couple packets of sausages in there. This just cost me almost $400. This is f**ked. This is an absolute joke,” the shopper said in the clip.

Composite image of Woolworths shopper's trolley of groceries and receipt.
The Woolworths shopper was shocked at the price of his grocery shop. (Source: Clown Down Under/X)

One commentator pointed out how hard it would be for someone on the pension to afford the grocery shop, writing: “Now, imagine being on the pension with $1,096 a fortnight and you have to pay rent, power and food, etc. Lots of Aussies are a paycheck [sic] away from homelessness.”

Others pointed out there were a few “big ticket” items in the shop and said people needed to “shop better” to cut costs.

Aussie households are now spending, on average, $182 on their weekly grocery shop, Finder data has found.

Coles and Woolworths given Shonky awards

Earlier this month, Coles and Woolworths were given Shonky Awards by consumer-advocacy group CHOICE for “cashing in during a cost-of-living crisis”.

The supermarket giants both recorded more than $1 billion in annual profits and CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland said people were questioning whether that was justified.

Both Coles and Woolworths rejected the price-gouging claims.

A Coles spokesperson said the supermarket only made $2.60 for every $100 a customer spent. They also noted Coles was “not immune to the increased cost of doing business - construction costs, energy prices, the cost of logistics and packaging have all risen”.

A Woolworths spokesperson said it offered the fairest possible deals for customers, staff and suppliers and noted it was “acutely aware” of the pressure being placed on Aussies by cost-of-living increases.

Both supermarkets pointed to the price reductions they had made across products.

Meanwhile, Nationals leader David Littleproud is calling on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate supermarket meat prices. The Australian Council of Trade Unions has commissioned an inquiry into price gouging and unfair pricing practices.

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