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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2019 Aug;43(4):346-351. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12899. Epub 2019 Jun 10.

The frequency and magnitude of price-promoted beverages available for sale in Australian supermarkets.

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Global Obesity Centre, Institute for Health Transformation, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria.
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Victoria.
The George Institute for Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales.



Price promotions are used to influence purchases and represent an important target for obesity prevention policy. However, no long-term contemporary data on the extent and frequency of supermarket price promotions exists. We aimed to evaluate the frequency, magnitude and weekly variation of beverage price promotions available online at two major Australian supermarket chains over 50 weeks.


Beverages were categorised into four policy-relevant categories (sugar-sweetened beverages, artificially-sweetened beverages, flavoured milk and 100% juice, milk and water). The proportional contribution of each category to the total number of price proportions, the proportion of price promotions within the available product category, the mean discount, and weekly variation in price promotions were calculated.


For Coles and Woolworths respectively, 26% and 30% of all beverages were price promoted in any given week. Sugar-sweetened beverages made up the greatest proportion of all price promotions (Coles: 46%, Woolworths: 49%). Within each product category, the proportion of sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened beverages that were price promoted was similar, higher than the other categories and reasonably constant over time. Diet drinks and sugar-sweetened soft drinks were most heavily discounted (by 29-40%).


Beverage price promotions are used extensively in Australian supermarkets, undermining efforts to promote healthy population diets. Implications for public health: Policies restricting price promotions on sugar-sweetened beverages are likely to be an important part of strategies to reduce obesity and improve population nutrition.


Sugar-sweetened beverages; food policy; obesity; price promotions

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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