Is unit pricing mandatory in large U.S. grocery stores?

Personal Finance December 08, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

Unit pricing regulations usually require the posting of unit price per pound, ounce, etc., on supermarket shelves for each consumer commodity, along with the sales price, so that consumers can compare value more easily. A careful review of unit pricing regulation shows no mention of a retail outlet's size. Rather, it seems that each state has authority to decide what unit pricing regulation it desires, if any, and regulatory differences between states are expressed in various categories of products, but the size of stores seems irrelevant. Some states require unit pricing, and some do not. The majority of retailers offer such information voluntarily.

The Uniform Unit Pricing Regulation, as adopted by the National Conference on Weights and Measures, provides a national approach to unit pricing, but whether this approach is adopted seems to be a state-by-state decision. To view the regulation, see Uniform Unit Pricing Regulation. To see which states had adopted the regulation as of 2006 and the nuances among those states, see Uniformity of Laws and Regulations.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.