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Supermarkets confirm future of price freeze policies amid cost-of-living crisis

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Supermarket giant Coles will extend its price freeze policy as cost-of-living pressures continue to impact Australians.

Both Coles and Woolworths implemented similar price freeze policies mid-last year, locking in the prices of hundreds of products as soaring inflation and interest rate hikes took a toll on wallets.

Woolworths policy has since expired, while Coles' was meant to end on January 31.

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Coles have 'dropped and locked' the prices of 150 household essentials.

However the latter this week back-flipped on the decision, announcing its "Dropped and Locked" policy will continue.

"DROPPED&LOCKED has received an incredible response and has helped save Australian households millions of dollars since it launched last year," a Coles spokesperson told 9news.com.au.

"With cost of living pressures, customers know they can rely on these locked prices at Coles each time they go shopping to help plan and manage their budgets."

The spokesperson did not say when the policy would be extended to. 

"DROPPED&LOCKED will continue beyond 31 January when the first phase of the promotion was scheduled to end. Further details will be provided soon," they said.

"We will also continue to focus on value through weekly specials, Down Down and Everyday Low Prices which offer key staples at trusted pricing for the longer term, and through other offers such as Flybuys points."

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Woolworths has confirmed it would not extend its price freeze program, with a spokesperson adding the supermarket is committed to keeping prices down.

"We know cost-of-living pressures are being felt by Australian families, and throughout 2023 we will continue to work hard to help them save each time they shop with us," they said in a statement supplied to 9news.com.au.

"While the Price Freeze program has come to an end, we remain focused on maximizing value for our customers, and many of the products from the program currently remain at the same low price.

"We will continue to review each cost increase request from our suppliers on a case-by-case basis, working together to sensitively manage market-wide inflationary pressures.

"We've recently reduced the price of more than 300 summer grocery staples as part of our Prices Dropped campaign, delivering millions of dollars in savings across our customer base, on top of the 5000 specials we offer every week."

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Coles' decision has been made amid mounting concern Australians were starring down the barrel of a sudden groceries price spike.

Over the past 12 months, fruit and vegetable prices in Australia have risen by 16 per cent, retail analysts revealed.

Bread and cereal prices are up by 10 per cent.

Further interest rate rises could see grocery prices rise yet higher.



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