Dessert debacle: Coles and Woolworths pudding prices stir up a festive fuss

Dec 09, 2023
The price of a humble Australian-made pudding has shoppers in an uproar. Source: Getty Images

The days of ten cent lollies, one dollar newspapers, and five dollar lunches are unfortunately long gone. Ten dollars doesn’t even buy a jar of Vegemite in some places these days!

With inflation ever-rising, the price of everything from basic necessities to fuel to entertainment has ballooned. For small and medium-sized enterprises, the cost of doing business now involves increasing their product prices to stay profitable, which potentially drives away some of their customers.

In the big business world, however, 2023 has been a time of record profits, often at the expense of everyday Australians. Coles and Woolworths in particular have been repeatedly accused of price gouging to reap record profits at a time when the country can ill afford it.

Australians are tired of rising prices and a recent price hike on a beloved Christmas dessert has shoppers asking the question once again: Why?

Many Christmas lovers in Australia may have had a taste of Ray’s Plum Puddings. They were first made in 1950 and proved to be so popular that they had to ramp up production and make up to 120 puddings a day by 1960. By 1970, they needed an entire factory just to make them!

Since then, they’ve been a popular choice across Christmas dinner tables. Prices on these puddings have gradually increased to reflect the realities of making a product entirely in Australia.

Usually, Australians are happy to buy Australian-made products, but this year many may not be able to afford a Ray’s Plum Pudding to cap off their Christmas dinner. There have been multiple reports from shoppers on Facebook that the price of their largest offering (2.3 kg) has now ballooned to an eye-watering $80.

These prices have been called “daylight robbery”, “ridiculous”, and “exploitative” by shoppers and commenters.  Even the smallest 900g pudding is retailing for $35 at Woolworths.

At Coles, the prices are not much better. A recent Reddit thread found a 1.8kg Ray’s Christmas Pudding retailing for $72. This prompted one of the commenters to joke about having take out a mortgage to afford one.

Speaking to, a Woolworths spokesperson explained that the prices were simply due to the pudding being a hand-made, high-quality Australian product.

“We support a number of Australian suppliers to help bring their unique products to market. This particular product has been handmade since 1930, and at 1.8 kilos serves 16 people,” the spokesperson said.

Even if Woolworths and Coles aren’t price gouging in this particular instance, they will soon face a Senate inquiry about the prices of their other products.

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