13 September 1999
Dual pricing confuses shoppers

DUAL pricing, where food shoppers are shown the price paid to farmers alongside the retail price, fails to boost sales, says the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC).

Government ministers are understood to be considering introducing dual pricing into British supermarkets following a similar move in France.

British farmers claim that retailers are maintaining high prices for certain products by refusing to pass on savings to customers from the slump in farm prices.

But it remains to be proven whether shoppers have the time or inclination to study price differentials, according to the MLCs latest European weekly market report.

Furthermore, the MLC says, there is no clear evidence that shoppers feel strongly enough to complain about the disparity between farm-gate and retail prices.

A trial system of dual pricing is currently underway in France.

The French supermarket giant Carrefour is also showing costs such as transport and storage in an effort to account for the added costs retailers absorb.

But “it has reported no change on sales, and another [retailer] has commented that consumers appear confused,” says the MLC.

  • Supermarkets to display farm prices?, FWi, (23 August, 1999)