Price cuts start produce war

Hatties Super IGA manager Peter Dawson believes prices often reflect the quality of fresh produce.
Hatties Super IGA manager Peter Dawson believes prices often reflect the quality of fresh produce. Lee Constable

COLES has fired the first shot in a new supermarket price war by dramatically cutting its fruit and vegetable prices.

Prices have been slashed by up to 50%. The super low prices, in effect until tomorrow, have left the supermarket's competitors wondering if the sale is just another marketing tactic.

Coles general manager of fresh produce Greg Davis said the quality of the produce was important to customers.

"They rightly expect the very best quality but price is an increasingly important factor for many when choosing what to buy and where to buy it," Mr Davis said.

"I am confident that the result for customers (from what) we are unveiling today (yesterday) is the best quality, best value and freshest fruit and vegetables in Australia."

However, the Fruit & Veg Super Specials have not impressed everyone, including Coles' direct competitor Woolworths.

"Our internal price checks on a basket of popular everyday fruit and vegetables shows that Woolworths prices are around 30% lower than Coles," a spokesman said.

"Woolworths are known as the Fresh Food People and, as such, our prices are always at least as good and usually better than prices advertised by any of our competitors and this is the case on the items advertised by Coles today (yesterday)."

Hattie's Supa IGA Mackay manager Peter Dawson said the price of fruit and vegetables also depended on the fruit and vegetable season.

"We watch what they're (other supermarkets) doing to a certain degree," he said.

"We've had phone calls from Coles and Woolworths regarding our prices, in particular bananas in October.

"Residents can buy cheap fruit and it may last one to two days. Or they can buy for quality and be confident it will last seven to 10 days."

Topics:  coles farmers fruit and vegetables prices produce woolworths

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