Groceries pricing super-complaint
The CMA looked into alleged misleading pricing practices in the groceries sector, following a super-complaint from Which?
|27 April 2016||Outcome of follow-up work published|
|16 July 2015||Response to super-complaint published|
|21 April 2015||Super-complaint from Which? received|
Update 6 July 2017
Asda has complied with a commitment given to the CMA last year to ensure its promotional pricing is fair and clear for shoppers.
- News story: Asda has complied with its commitment to clear pricing (6.7.17)
27 April 2016: Following the CMA’s response last July to Which?’s super-complaint about pricing and promotional practices in the groceries market, the CMA has published an update on its follow-up work.
This details the CMA’s engagement with supermarkets and Trading Standards Services, and highlights a commitment given by Asda. It also summarises how other bodies are taking forward the CMA’s recommendations in relation to the key guidance and legislation in this area.
- Update on the CMA’s follow-up work to the groceries pricing super-complaint (27.4.16)
- Commitment received from Asda (27.4.16)
- Press release: Groceries promotions to be clearer for shoppers (27.4.16)
Update: 15 October 2015
The CMA welcomes the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) response to our report ‘Pricing Practices in the Groceries Market’ (which followed a super-complaint from Which?), published on 16 July. In particular, we welcome the proposals relating to improving unit pricing for groceries products, in line with the recommendations made in our report.
The CMA also welcomes the consultation by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) on its revisions to the Pricing Practices Guide. The CMA recommended that CTSI amend the guidance to provide clarity about how the law applies to certain pricing and promotional practices.
Following the CMA’s response to the super-complaint, we have been undertaking further analysis of the potentially misleading practices identified in our report and establishing our priorities for further action. We plan to engage with retailers in the coming weeks to address these issues.
Response to super-complaint
16 July 2015: The CMA has responded to a super-complaint by Which? in relation to pricing and promotional practices in the groceries sector.
In our investigation we found examples of pricing and promotional practices that have the potential to confuse or mislead consumers and which could be in breach of consumer law. Where there is evidence of breaches of consumer law this could lead to enforcement action.
However, we have concluded that these problems are not occurring in large numbers across the whole sector and that generally retailers are taking compliance seriously to avoid such problems occurring. We also found that more could be done to reduce the complexity in unit pricing to make it a more useful comparison tool for consumers.
We will continue to work with businesses and government to improve pricing and promotional practices in the groceries sector.
- Response to super-complaint (1.5Mb) (16.7.15)
- Annexes A to E (1.04Mb) (16.7.15)
- Annex F: Grocery Pricing Qualitative Research Report, prepared by BDRC Continental for the CMA, 12 June 2015 (3.02Mb) (16.7.15)
- Annex G: TNS consumer Omnibus survey tables (3.97Mb) (16.7.15)
- Press release: CMA recommends changes to help shoppers in supermarkets (16.7.15)
- Unit pricing: information for consumers (16.7.15)
Summary of super-complaint
The CMA received a super-complaint from Which? about ‘grocery retailing in the UK’, defined by Which? to cover food, drink, cleaning products and household goods sold both in-store and online.
- Summary of Which?’s groceries pricing super-complaint (7.5.15)
- Press release: CMA receives super-complaint from Which? (21.4.15)
More information on what super-complaints are is available in our short guide.
Published: 21 April 2015
Updated: 27 April 2016
Opened: 21 April 2015
Closed: 27 April 2016
- Case closed: outcome of follow-up work published.
- First published.