After the expansion of its Down Down campaign, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) criticised Coles for limiting its product range, but the supermarket giant claims only half the story is being told.
Earlier this week Coles announced it was adding more than 100 private-label products to its Down Down range.
Soon after, the AFGC issued a statement slamming Coles for focusing on their own private-label products, and consequently limiting the range on offer to consumers.
The industry group cited research released by Coles and conducted by Deloitte Access Economics which claimed that Coles' product range dropped 11 percent from 62,000 products to 55,000 between mid-2010 and mid-2012.
Coles responded quickly with its own statement, claiming that the AFGC "has selectively used data from a Deloitte report to pursue a tired political campaign against the major supermarkets."
It adds, "Unfortunately, the AFGC have ignored the detailed Deloitte analysis about why and what has happened in Coles’ supermarkets and the Deloitte conclusion because it does not suit their story. The Deloitte report concludes: '…effective choice in the store is still high and consumers may be better off overall'".
Coles went on to add that branded products make up 75 percent of all products sold in its stores, and just as many private label products have been removed from shelves as branded products.
John Durkan, Coles merchandise director, said, "It is about time the AFGC became a more professional body that actually represents all of its members, many of whom have seen substantial sales gains from products sold at Coles that customers buy the most."
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