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What is Cost Per Unit Legislation for Retailers in Ireland?

Written by

David McDonnell


August 16, 2022



Abiding by legislation is vital for retailers, like the Cost Per Unit legislation in Ireland. Let's take a look at what it is and its benefits.

In the dynamic landscape of retail, staying informed about regulations and legislation is crucial for businesses to thrive. One regulatory aspect that retailers in Ireland need to be well-acquainted with is the Cost Per Unit legislation. 

This legislation plays a pivotal role in ensuring transparency and fairness in pricing practices, benefiting both businesses and consumers alike.

What is Cost Per Unit legislation?

Cost Per Unit (CPU) legislation in Ireland is designed to regulate how retailers display and communicate pricing information to consumers. Essentially, it mandates that retailers disclose the unit price of a product alongside its total price. The unit price provides consumers with a standardised measure, usually per unit of weight or volume, allowing for easy comparison between different brands and sizes.

Key Components of CPU Legislation:

Clear unit pricing:

  • Retailers are obligated to display the unit price prominently on shelves and, if applicable, on price tags. This ensures that consumers can make informed choices based on the true cost of a product, irrespective of its packaging or branding.

Consistent measurement units:

  • To facilitate easy comparison, the legislation mandates the use of consistent measurement units for unit pricing. Common units include price per kilogram, per litre, per 100 grams, etc. This consistency enables consumers to quickly evaluate and compare products without the need for complex calculations.

Online retailers compliance:

  • With the rise of e-commerce, the legislation also extends its reach to online retailers. Websites must display unit pricing information prominently, ensuring that consumers have access to the same level of information online as they do in physical stores.

Exceptions and exemptions:

  • While CPU legislation is broad-reaching, there are exceptions and exemptions for certain products and situations. For example, some items may be exempt due to their nature or packaging, and retailers should be aware of these nuances to remain in compliance.

Benefits of CPU legislation:

Consumer empowerment:

By providing consumers with clear and consistent unit pricing information, the legislation empowers them to make more informed purchasing decisions. This transparency fosters trust between retailers and consumers.

Competition and fair pricing:

CPU legislation promotes fair competition by ensuring that consumers can easily compare prices across different brands and sizes. This encourages retailers to maintain competitive pricing strategies, benefitting the market as a whole.

Reduced confusion:

The standardised unit pricing system helps eliminate confusion for consumers, especially when comparing products with varying packaging sizes. It simplifies the shopping experience, making it easier for customers to identify the best value for their money.

In conclusion, understanding and adhering to Cost Per Unit legislation is essential for retailers in Ireland. By complying with these regulations, businesses not only contribute to a fair and transparent marketplace but also build trust and loyalty with their customers. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, staying abreast of such regulations becomes a key element in sustaining a successful and ethical retail business in Ireland.

At Visual ID, we're experts in making sure your in-store marketing is brand consistent and legally compliant. Get in touch today.


At Visual ID, we're experts in making sure your in-store marketing is brand consistent and legally compliant. Get in touch today.

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David McDonnell

With a career spanning 40 years in FMCG, marketing, trading and field sales management, Visual ID is in safe hands with Dave as Managing Director. He’s responsible for the commercial, financial, sales and marketing and personnel functions of the company. In his down time he loves to spend time with his friends and family, gardening, walking and has a huge interest in modern and classic cars.

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