Coles Boss Issues Bad News for Australian Shoppers

Does it feel like you are getting less and less for your money at the supermarket these days? I swear a weekly shop used to cost us around $250. Now we’re lucky to go under $350.

And normally we have to return to the shops to top up after my kids devour their weekly school snacks by Sunday evening.

Well, bad news ladies and gents because it’s about to get even worse. We’re talking five times worse!

Big price increases projected 

Coles boss Steve Cain has confirmed that the grocery prices will continue to rise in the coming year with food suppliers struggling with production costs. Food suppliers’ fees will go up which means food costs will go up too.

coles boss confirms price spike
Source: Bigstock

Steve admits that over the past 12 months he’s witnessed a massive spike in the number of suppliers wanting to discuss pricing.

As I sit here today, we have got five times as many requests for price increases as we had last year. Five times,’ Coles boss, Mr Cain said, speaking at The Australian’s Global Food Forum on Wednesday.

‘And they’re not small amounts. It’s not 2 per cent or 3 per cent being asked for either so there is, you know, the usual “pig in the python” trying to work its way through the system, whether things plateau or whether they come down slowly remains to be seen.’  

There’s a lot to blame for the rising food costs we’re experiencing and are expected to come. The Russian-Ukraine war, COVID, flooding and more.

Fresh fruit even more expensive 

Woolworths boss Brad Banducci echoes this notion, also revealing that the company has experienced a price boost of 2 to 3 percent with more supplier fee increases expected soon.

Some of the hardest-hit price spikes include fruits and veggies, specifically lettuce and tomatoes.

In my shopping experiences, I’ve found that the price of berries continues to be a huge shock every week, especially when my three-year-old consumes strawberries by the punnet. I mean, we’re looking at $6.50 for a small punnet of strawberries. And don’t even get me started on blackberries…

Steve Cain urges customers to stock up on bananas and grapes which are down in pricing compared to last year. He also predicts that the price of meat and frozen foods will soon go down. Fingers crossed, mate!

Tinned foods for all

However, overall, we can expect the price of our groceries to potentially double over the next year. In fact, Cain predicts we’ll be turning to the tinned foods and frozen foods to get past this looming food spike.

A quick mid-week trip to the shops to pick up some bread, milk, cheese, fruit, and school snacks may end up costing well over $100 soon. And we won’t even bring up the cost of the fuel to get there.

Below are a few of the hardest-hit food price hikes so far this year, and compared to last year, according to consumer network One Big Switch. 

  • Diced beef: 22% increase
  • Basic beef mince: 14% increase
  • Cooking oils: 19% increase
  • Name-brand canned fruit: 17% increase
  • Baked beans and tinned spaghetti: 21% increase
  • Drinks: 7.6% increase
  • Fruit and Veg: 5% increase


How to save on groceries 

If you’re looking for some ways to save on your weekly shop, we’ve got some tips here.

We’ve also got some tips on tackling meal planning which is a great way to cut down on the costs and reduce the need to stock up mid-week (or order takeaway).

We’ve also got a cool shelf cooking challenge, which basically challenges you to cook with what you’ve got in the pantry and fridge rather than head to the shops for your regular staples.

Switching to the home brand version is also an easy way to cut back on costs. We did a price analysis a few years ago and compared Woolworth’s Essentials to the name brands and the difference was around $43 per week or $170+ a month. This was in 2018 too so odds are this number is much higher now.

I also highly recommend online shopping – not only does it reduce those impulse buys – or the need to buy your kid a Kinder Surprise every time you drag them down the aisles – but you can also qualify for discounts such as $15 off your next shop. I’m with Woolies and we normally are offered a discount every second or third week.

Most of us are already finding it tricky to stay within our food shopping budget and it looks like it’s going to get even trickier. Share with us any tips or tricks you’ve got to keep those costs down. It sounds like we’re going to need all the help we can get.


Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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