Supermarket shoppers are experiencing a mixed bag of product price changes with some cheaper or similar to 20 years ago and others more than double.

Toilet paper, chicken fillets and basic beef mince remain bargain buys, a Herald Sun snapshot survey found.

But hip pockets have taken a hit from pork chops, soft drink and yoghurt that are now more than twice the price.

Melbourne’s overall food and non-alcoholic drinks ¬prices have risen 83 per cent from early 1995 to late last year, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.

Retail expert Dr Gary Mortimer said the Woolies versus Coles battle for customer loyalty had kept a lid on some key groceries. “They’ve had a deliberate strategy to reduce the cost of ‘hero’ lines like beef mince, milk, bread, eggs and breakfast cereal in the hope you will buy other items in their store as well,” he said.

supermarket prices

“They’re also enticing people into purchasing bulk-sized groceries as these are cheaper for supermarkets to buy and for suppliers to produce.”

Safeway prices from early 1995 were compared with Woolworths store prices earlier this month.

A Sorbent four-pack of toilet paper was $1 a roll in 1995. An eight-pack sold today works out at 81c a roll. Fresh chicken fillets and regular beef mince are $1 a kilo extra, up 13 and 20 per cent respectively.

But pork mid-loin chops have surged 164 per cent to $18.49kg. Soft drink prices more than doubled, and bottles are 250ml smaller.

Arnott’s shapes are almost twice the price, and the packet size is 25g trimmer.

A two litre cordial was once $2.80 and a one litre, double strength version is now $4.79.

Other grocery items in our survey were priced 14 to 99 per cent higher.

Deutsche Bank’s Michael Simotas recently declared the era of shrinking supermarket bills and “aggressive deflation” over.

However, competition from Aldi was likely to head off widespread price rises.

Extracted in full from the Herald Sun.