Supermarket chains across the country were forced to implement strict restrictions on the number of items that customers could buy earlier this month, as people began hoarding and panic buying in response to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Limits were placed on household items such as toilet roll, hand sanitiser and hand-washing liquid, along with fresh food items such as meat, eggs and milk and pantry staples including pasta, rice and tinned vegetables. Coles, Woolworths and Aldi all introduced similar measures, including the introduction of a seniors-only hour each morning, in a bid to ensure everyone got their fair share of groceries during this difficult period.
Now though, Coles has become the first supermarket to ease some of its restrictions, lifting the limits relating to the purchase of mince meat and fresh milk entirely. Although there is still a restriction of two per person when it comes to UHT long-life milk.
Buying restrictions also remain in place for toilet roll, which is limited to one item per person, while the following remain limited to two per person; pasta, flour, dry rice, paper towels, tissues, hand sanitiser, eggs, frozen vegetables, frozen desserts, sugar, canned tomatoes, liquid soap, nappies and anti-bacterial wipes.
The supermarket also announced on Friday that it was slashing the price of beef mince across its stores in all states (excluding WA) by 20 per cent in a bid to further support customers, many of whom are doing it tough at the moment as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Between Friday, April 3, and Tuesday, April 7, customers will be able to buy Coles 3 star regular beef mince for $4.80 for 500g, or 1kg for $8.80. While the cost of Coles 4 star lean beef mince has been reduced to $6 for 500g and $8.80 for 800g.
Coles Meat General Manager Charlotte Gilbert said: “We have seen demand for meat increase astronomically as customers need to cook at home more often, with over 5 million packs sold over the past four weeks. We have worked with our dedicated farmers to pull out all the stops to increase supply and offer great value to customers at this challenging time.
“We know many Australians are doing it tough now, and to support those in need we have also donated more than $650,000 of Coles beef mince to food rescue organisations SecondBite and Foodbank who are providing essential meals to the most vulnerable in our communities.”