Coles customers are going crazy over a new range of collectable toys, with some of the rarer items now selling on eBay for up to $2,000.
The new campaign, which launched last month, allows shoppers to collect 24 mini fruit or vegetable toys, called Stikeez, which they said aim to encourage kids to eat more natural foods.
For every $30 spent at Coles, shoppers will receive one of the cute characters — including Marie Mango, Kelly Kiwi and Sunny Strawberry – at random. Coles will also award shoppers a $100 voucher if they get their hands on the rarest collectible — a golden banana called Billy.
And within weeks, the popular mini plastic toys are now selling for thousands of dollars on eBay. In fact, one golden banana is selling on eBay for an eye-watering $2,100.
While there has been some excitement about the promotion, some customers are questioning the supermarket’s commitment to reducing plastic waste. Coles rolled out the items just months after they introduced single-use plastic bag bans in Victoria, NSW, Qld and WA, causing outrage among shoppers.
“That’s it, I’m done. I have been a loyal customer for over 30 years and was horrified by the Coles Mini campaign,” one commentator wrote. “Now I see there’s another free giveaway of plastic rubbish that creates waste and encourages hoarder behaviour in children. My shopping preference is now anywhere-but-Coles.”
Another added: “I am disgusted to see you continue to give tiny plastic toxic products to children. You should be ashamed. Where is your sense of responsibility.”
And a third wrote: “What a joke! Coles promoting healthy choices for kids and at the same time handing out copious amounts of wasteful plastic with their Stikeez promotion!”
However, a Coles spokesperson said: “This campaign is all about getting Aussie families excited about fruit and veg as part of the Coles Fresh Rainbow Challenge which can be used to help parents reward kids for eating healthy. Customers can choose not to receive them and for those who do, we hope they enjoy them for a long time.
“As part of our commitment to better environmental outcomes, we offer recycling bins for soft plastics in our supermarkets. Through the REDcycle program, the recycled soft plastic material is turned into outdoor furniture for pre-schools and primary schools.”
The Stikeez campaign follows the supermarket giant’s Little Shops promotion which saw people lining up for tiny replicas of household items.