Price of Food in Australia

Price of Food in Australia

Food is an important part of the ‘Cost of Living’ in Australia

How much does food cost in Australia ? How long is a piece of string could be one answer.

June 2011


$1.99 2 litres Milk ($2.00 in Woolworths)
$2.55 12 Eggs 700gm ($2.91 in Woolworths)
$1.09 Sliced White Bread 700gm ($1.29 in Woolworths)
$4.49 Ham Double smoked 300gm ($6.18 for 250gm in Woolworths)
$9.99 Lasagne Fresh 1.3kg  ($12.29 in Woolworths)
$0.69 Carrots 1kg

Based on the above few examples, Woolworths appears to cost about 22% more than ALDI.  Advertising however, does show a higher saving.  Coles pricing is very similar to Woolworths.

I’ve seen comments where different families can spend between $80 and $400 per week on food.

Some ideas of costs can be obtained from the Woolworths/Coles/ALDI Online Shops. However, the differences between Supermarkets and small shops are worth looking into.

The following information is now out of date, (2008 – 2009) but makes interesting reading for comparison to current prices:

We pay $2.19 for 2 litres of white milk, which would cost us $2.73 at a Supermarket at the time of writing this; 2008.

Rump Steak can sometimes be bought for $6 per kg, at the local Butchers, although it is currently on special at a Supermarket for $15.40 per kg !!, down from about $20. (Butchers seem to be much better value)

A loaf of bread, Multigrain 700gm, can cost between $1 and $3.50, again depending where you shop for it.

A cooked pizza from the Pizza chains can often be bought for about $6.

Cairns Price Watch

Some prices from Price Watch in the Cairns area:

The following list of items in July 2008 averaged a total of $63.14 between the three major shops in the area.

    Shampoo (250ml) : Cheddar Cheese (500g) : Bread : Soft drink (1.25l) : Fish Fingers (40 pack) : Margarine (500g) : Yoghurt (1kg) : Snack Food (175g) : Peanut Butter (500g) : Vegetable Oil (2l) : Dog Food (1.25kg) : Instant Noodles (10 pack) : Milk (2l)

Price re-checked for March 2009, after 9 months, and the price is now $65.13, an increase of $1.46 or 2.3% increase. (3.04% annualised)

In September 2008 the average was $63.67 with prices ranging from $59.64 to $65.82

An interesting thing I did just see was the price of 2 litres of milk at each of the supermarkets surveyed in the Cairns area:

$ 2.19 Woolworths (Gladstone)
$ 2.19 Coles (Toombul)
$ 2.36 IGA (Logan)
$ 2.59 Woolworths (Cairns)

Further down this page you will see the media saying “2 litres Milk costs $3.33”.
Believe the newspapers at your peril !

General Price information

Choice Consumer – Grocery Basket Prices

Outer Brisbane South – May 09 Survey Results

$62.93 ALDI
$81.50 Woolworths / Safeway
$83.74 Coles / BI-LO
$87.32 Independents


July 2008
Some Grocery Prices in July 2008 in Redlands, Near Brisbane, SE QLD.


$1.09 White Bread 700gm Sliced
$6.29 1kg Cheese
$4.99 1 Litre Shower Gel
$2.99 1.5 Kg Apples
$0.99 800gm Roma Tomatoes
$1.79 1 kg Bananas
$3.99 1 Kg Fish Fingers (40)
$1.79 500 gm Frozen Baby Peas
$4.49 4 kg Potatoes
$2.99 1 kg Imperial Mandarins

May 2008
Some Butchers prices in May 2008 in Redlands, Near Brisbane, SE QLD.

Lamb Loin Chops $9.99 kg
Legs of Lamb $5.99 kg
Topside Roast (MSA Beef) $7.99 kg
Whole Rib Fillets $15.99 kg
Budget Whole Rib Fillets $9.99 kg
BBQ Sausages $1.99 kg
Whole Rumps (Grain fed) $5.99 kg
Pork Chops 5 kg for $20
Premium Mince 5 kg $25

A Major Australian newspaper, on Sunday 16th March 2008, with headlines about SOARING FOOD COSTS, quoted the following examples:

  • 2 litres Milk costs $3.33
  • 650gm White Loaf costs $3.21

TOTAL $6.54

I bought those items on that same day, 16th March 2008:

  • 2 litres Milk $2.19
  • 700gm White Loaf $1.09

TOTAL $3.28, about HALF the above price.

Reading the full news article though, it did quietly say: “A basket of 25 typical products which cost $93.51 was reduced to $49.28” by shopping correctly.
Maybe THAT should have been the newspaper headline.

Some other actual prices this week (Mar 2008) at our Woolworths (convenient but not always the cheapest):

  • Rump Steak (economy cut) $9.95 kg
  • Premium Mince $9.95 kg
  • Pork Loin Chops $12.96 kg
  • Chicken (Whole) $4.79 kg
  • Lettuce (Iceberg) $1.65 each
  • Grapes (Red Globe) $2.94 kg
  • Potatoes (4kg bag) $1.45 kg
  • Coffee (Moccona Espresso) $9.99 250gm

GST (VAT) on Food

I have read that some people complained about the introduction of GST on food prices.

It may not be as bad as some have thought.

I just looked at the receipt from my last shopping trip, and Tinned food had NO GST neither did the fresh fruit, Bread, Yogurt, Milk or Cheese.

In fact only two items had GST, and they were a bar of chocolate for $1 and a 750gm bag of Cashew nuts that cost me $9.99. (April 2008)

Australian Food Suppliers

The main Food supermarkets are:

  • Woolworths / Safeway, over 700 supermarkets source: Called “Safeway” in Victoria.
  • Coles operates over 760 stores throughout Australia (over 480 stores in 2008) source
  • BI-LO. operates more than 70 or 180 stores nationally, depending which BiLo web page you read. (over 190 stores in 2008) source
  • ALDI 200 stores across New South Wales, ACT, Queensland and Victoria

and the Independent Groups of Supermarkets

  • IGA over 950 Independent stores in Australia
  • FoodWorks over 700 Independent stores in Australia

Organic Food Suppliers

The history of Safeways in Australia

The Safeway chain was created in a merger in 1926 of Skaggs Stores and Sam Seelig Company in the USA.
The company expanded into Canada in 1929, into the United Kingdom in 1962 and into Australia in 1963.
In 1985 Safeway Australia was sold to the Australian-based Woolworths Limited.
In 1987 the UK Safeway business was sold to Argyll Stores.

What type of Milk in Australia

  • Regular Milk / Whole Milk / Full Cream Milk
  • Reduced Fat Milk
  • Low Fat Milk
  • Skim Milk/No Fat Milk
  • Buttermilk/ Cultured Milk
  • Modified Milk
  • Fortified Milk
  • Ultrafiltration (UF) Milk
  • Calcium Enriched Milk
  • Flavoured Milk
  • Malted Milk
  • Acidophilus Milk
  • Lactose Reduced Milk
    and of course A2 Milk

Cheese in Australia
Australians eat about 12 kilograms of cheese per person every year, most of which is of the Cheddar variety

With over 90 specialist cheese manufacturers in Australia, and a production of over 100 different varieties of cheese, there is a reasonable choice when it comes to cheese. However, the price may not be as low as in the UK.

Cheddar cheese comes mainly in Mild, Tasty And Vintage Styles. These are the common three that you will find on the Supermarket shelf.

More options will be found in the Deli section of the Supermarket.

Some of the common brands of the pre-packed cheeses are: Kraft, Bodalla, Australian Farmers, Mainland, Cracker Barrel, Bega and Devondale.

  • Mild Cheddar – matures for one to three months.
  • Semi-matured – matures for three to six months.
  • Matured or tasty – matures for six to 12 months.
  • Vintage – matures for 12 to 24 months

Some of the Deli style cheeses include:

  • Fetta and Mozzarella style cheeses made from Buffalo milk, sourced from the Buffalo herd in Victoria.
  • Tasmanian Heritage Blue Opal, for the Blue Cheese lovers, is one of over thirty blue cheeses, from just one of the suppliers that I have listed below.
  • Goats Milk Cheese is made in South Australia, and imported from France amongst other countries.

Useful Cheese links:

Red Leicester Cheese imported to Australia by South Cape Fine Foods from the UK

Imported by South Cape Fine Foods from the UK, Red Leicester is a traditional authentic regional cheese.

White Cheshire Cheese imported to Australia by South Cape Fine Foods from the UK.

Imported by South Cape Fine Foods from the UK, White Cheshire is a traditional authentic regional cheese. Distinctively white in colour, it has a crumbly, silky texture and a sharp fresh flavour.

Double Gloucester Cheese imported to Australia by South Cape Fine Foods from the UK

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yes, you ARE.
we all are and will be until the chains decide they made enough money….. OR, we aussies get of our lazy asses and start using things like farmers markets, butchers etc on a regular basis.
but lets face it……. whats the chance of either of those things happening?

we are geting ripped off by the supermarkets

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