No lettuce shortage in WA, while NSW Woolies offers incentive to buy the expensive greens


‘What lettuce shortage?’ West Australians gloat over their veggie abundance as desperate NSW Woolies offers rewards points to encourage shoppers to buy the pricey produce

  • A WA Reddit user has pointed out that lettuces are still plentiful in their state 
  •  The pic showed a Coles supermarket with its shelves piled high with lettuces 
  •  The $3.50 asking price compares well with eastern shops selling them for $12  
  •  WA growers supply their state while bad weather has cut crops in the east

Our great lettuce crisis appears to only be a problem for the eastern states with West Australians seemingly having no problem getting the salad staple – and at a completely reasonable price.  

Fresh vegetable prices have skyrocketed over the past few months as demand outstrips supply after flooding in Queensland and northern NSW ravaged crops.

A head of lettuce, which typically costs about $2, can cost shoppers on the east coast up to $12 at the moment.

But over in sunny Western Australia, the lettuce price has remained stable, a fact the state is more than happy to boast about.

Under the caption ‘What lettuce shortage?’, Reddit user Dawgreen posted a picture of a West Australian Coles supermarket stall stacked high with large iceberg lettuces being sold for $3.50 a head.

They were stacked against an impressive pile of cos variety lettuces, also going for $3.50.

A Reddit user happily showed off his state's abundance of lettuce and commentators were quick to contrast this with the shortages of the vegetable in the eastern states

A Reddit user happily showed off his state’s abundance of lettuce and commentators were quick to contrast this with the shortages of the vegetable in the eastern states

These extraordinarily expensive lettuces went on sale in a Brisbane IGA late last month with the shop and suppliers blaming the bad the Queensland weather for the sparse crop

These extraordinarily expensive lettuces went on sale in a Brisbane IGA late last month with the shop and suppliers blaming the bad the Queensland weather for the sparse crop

This contrasts with lettuces being sold for almost $12 in some supermarkets along the Eastern Seaboard.

The reason appears to be local sourcing.

Lettuce supplies in the  eastern states have been badly affected by flooding in Queensland and NSW, along with many other vegetable crops.

However, West Australian farmers have not been so unfortunate. 

‘Almost all of our lettuce in Western Australia is sourced in Western Australia which hasn’t experienced the same level of supply impacts we have seen on the east coast,’ a spokesperson for Coles said.

Chief Operating Officer Matt Swindells told Channel Nine on Tuesday morning that the east coast fresh produce growers had suffered ‘a double whammy’.  

‘The first has been the floods that we all remember that went through south-east Queensland, northern NSW. That damaged crops but it also stopped the farmers being able to plant,’ he said.

‘That is then being compounded with one of the coldest winters in decades. So the crops that we have managed to get into the ground, they’re not growing as fast as they normally would do.’

Woolworths also confirmed that Mother Nature had been kinder out west.   

‘While poor weather has significantly impacted the availability of lettuce on the east coast, our Western Australian lettuce growers have been unaffected and continue to enjoy favourable growing conditions,’ a spokesperson said.

‘Our lettuce supply in Western Australia is sourced from growers within the state, and the availability there has remained steady.

‘While growers on the east coast have been planting new crops, it will likely take a number of weeks before supply begins to improve.’

‘We’re working closely with our east coast growers and we’ll continue to keep our customers informed.’

Unfortunately for people on the east coast hoping to share in the west’s bounty, the store said there was only enough lettuces to meet the demand of the WA market.

In NSW, where iceberg lettuces are being sold for $6.90 each, Woolworths is attempting to ease the pain of buying fresh food and vegetables by offering extra rewards points for doing so.   

Up until August 18, shoppers who spend $10 or more on fresh fruit and veg will collect five times the amount of reward points on their total shop but you need to have the Everyday Rewards Card.

The story said this was a ‘personalised offer’ which can be ‘boosted’ through the Everyday Rewards app. 

WA-based Reddit commentators were quick to gloat about their national lettuce supremacy.

One joked about sending salad ‘aid’ to the east. 

Reddit users were quick to run in the superiority of the WA’s stock of vegetables

‘I think my parents could cover their Indian pacific tickets by taking suitcases of iceberg lettuce back to Melbourne with them,’ wrote another.

However, not everyone was so impressed.

Not everyone was that impressed by the lettuce price

Not everyone was that impressed by the lettuce price

The cost of lettuce in the eastern states even prompted KFC to substitute cabbage in its burgers but this did not gain prime ministerial favour.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese last week labelled the move as a ‘crisis’ for his KFC-loving son and joked it would be priority item for his cabinet to discuss.

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