A disgruntled Coles shopper has called out the supermarket giant for quietly discontinuing the popular ‘free fruit for kids’ service at two regional Victorian stores.
The mother-of-two said she would now ‘boycott’ Coles after being informed by staff members that the service was no longer available at her local store.
She claimed that during her last visit to Coles she had to ‘pay for the skin’ after giving her toddler a banana to eat while they shopped.
The shopper contrasted the decision with Woolworths’ ongoing commitment to donating millions of pieces of free fruit over the past eight years.
‘I have been to two different locations in Victoria and both staff members have said they no longer offer it. Mind blown,’ she said in a TikTok video.
‘Very disappointed in Coles and I hope this not true across the border, hopefully it’s just a selected few shops in Victoria.
‘But for me now, I am boycotting Coles. I cannot shop there with my toddler. It’s Woolworths for me from now on.’
A Coles spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that the free fruit initiative is not uniformly available across all stores.
The shopper was upset to find that her local Coles store had discontinued ‘free fruit for kids’
‘Attention little shoppers! Please enjoy a free piece of delicious fruit while you shop through our store. Courtesy of Coles’ a sign on the free fruit service reads
The spokesperson explained: ‘Some stores will offer free fruit for kids, but it’s at the discretion of the store, and not all stores have this offering at the moment.’
‘Coles is focused on ways to encourage healthy eating among children.
‘Coles sell ‘kids’ packs’ of undersized fruit including apples, pears and mandarins that are perfect for school lunchboxes.
‘Earlier this year, we helped educate and encourage Aussies to enjoy great Aussie fresh fruit and veg through the Fresh Food Challenge which featured a free chart available in-store (or to download) with a checklist to follow and complete the pairing of 35 fruit and vegetables.
‘This program helped educate our customers in a fun way, on the health benefits of great quality Aussie fruit and veg and helped parents educate their children on fresh food choices.
‘Another way that we encourage healthy eating in kids is through our partnership with Little Athletics across the country. Since 2017, Coles has donated more than 3.9 million bananas to grassroots Little Athletics clubs and centres.’
It comes just days after Coles introduced anti-theft fog devices in a bid to deter thieves with one shopper describing their shock when it accidentally went off.
Supermarkets across the country have employed the technique, which works by letting off a cloud of fog over registers and shelves when an alarm is triggered.
The method is designed to be activated when there is a break-in outside of store opening hours and makes it difficult for thieves to see what they are doing.
Coles supermarkets have employed new anti-theft fog devices in an attempt to deter thieves
One Melbourne shopper caught a fog device in action in a Coles supermarket
Shoppers at a Melbourne Coles store got to witness the new technology in action after the device was accidentally activated following a ‘technical mishap’.
The customer said they had been shopping late at night when they noticed a cloud of smoke filling the front of the suburban store.
‘Not sure exactly what happened as I was wearing my headphones and zoned out in my own world, but I stopped by my local Coles to grab something for dinner on my way home around 10.20pm last night,’ they wrote.
‘As I was walking to the checkout, I heard a loud pop and smoke gradually filling the store (there was no burning smell and everyone in the store was relatively calm, however the firm alarm did go off).
‘The smoke eventually went away after two to three minutes. Does anyone know what it may have been?’
Photos posted by the shopper show registers, customers and products on shelves all clouded by a thick layer of fog.
In a statement, Coles told Daily Mail Australia that there was a technical mishap in the Melbourne store on Friday night ‘which caused this fog to be deployed’.
‘There is no health risk associated with the fog technology which is designed to go off when there is a break-in after hours,’ a spokesperson said.