Australian supermarkets have reportedly warned shoppers that leaving behind the stalks of broccoli in a bid to save money could be classified as “theft”.
A photograph shared to Twitter by Melbourne-based radio station 3AW showed a sign warning customers that they “must not break the stems of the broccoli”.
“This is classified as theft,” the sign reads. “All broccoli purchases will be checked at the registers.”
It is unclear which supermarket the sign was displayed in.
Separately, a recent TikTok shared by user Jenn Shaw showed that some shoppers had also been leaving behind stems at popular supermarket chain Coles.
One from the Rumour File.
A well-known retailer is checking all broccoli purchases! pic.twitter.com/o326mufpHz
— 3AW Breakfast (@RossAndRussel) June 26, 2022
Commenting on the clip, which has been viewed more than 600,000 times, some users claimed they had broken off and left broccoli stems behind to save money.
The price of broccoli at Coles is calculated by weight, with one kilogram costing AU$11.90 (£6.70).
The average broccoli head weighs 350g, which means shoppers can expect to pay around AU$3.40 (£1.90) per item.
“I always break mine off as it weighs less and costs less,” one person commented.
Another wrote: “They are leaving them so it weighs less so they can afford it.”
“If you’re paying that much, I understand only taking the part you want,” a third person wrote.
One TikTok user claimed their local grocer had also implemented rules on buying broccoli.
“Our local veggie shop has a sign stating if you remove them, you pay double the price,” they wrote.
In a statement to news.com.au, a Coles spokesperson said it was “disappointing” that people were removing the stalks of broccoli before buying.
“It’s disappointing to hear a small number of customers have removed the stalks from broccoli in our stores as the entire vegetable is edible and full of nutritional value,” the spokesperson said.
“As part of our Together to Zero strategy, we will continue to work on ways to minimise food waste by educating customers about how to get the most out of their fresh produce.
“A great example is a recipe by Curtis Stone that heroes shaved broccoli stalk as a main ingredient.”