A group of women have been filmed grabbing tins of baby formula off shelves at a Queensland Coles.

Shoppers say is a “daily” routine that has left them fuming.

9 News reported that Cindy Emma posted video to Facebook that captured the group of women huddled around the baby formula in the Brisbane Coles earlier this week.

“This is what happens every morning,” she wrote in a post to Coles.


“Same people every day literally running into the store fighting each other grabbing as much baby formula as they possibly can.

“They are lined up in the morning before the store opens.

“About 10 of them the same people every day at the same store.

“(They) laughed at me thinking it’s funny when I questioned them about it.”

Coles responded to the Facebook post saying there is a “strict limit of four tins per customer” – although Ms Emma does not believe it is being enforced.

“I have spoken to your staff in store and have been advised by your staff that this is not the case.”

In June we shared a shocked mum witnessed an ‘organised ring’ of shoppers stocking up on baby formula by sneaking dozens of tins through the check-out at her local Coles supermarket in Sydney.

Both Coles and fellow supermarket giant Woolworths have enforced a limit per customer for baby formula after demand skyrocketed overseas which led to an alarming shortage in Australia.

In 2015 the baby formula shortage epidemic hit breaking point after it was found Chinese nationals were being recruited to buy it in bulk and resell it back in China on the black market.

Stores were forced to introduce country-wide customer limits for the formula as the shelves ran dry and Australian mothers were left without nourishment for their infants.

Have you witnesses this at all?

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  • This is disgusting behavior. The supermarkets really need a stricter policy in place to prevent this.


  • I have seen this problem and think there has to be a better solution to this. My daughter in law had to resort to making her own formula as she could not get one her daughter could tolerate. This is not an easy task with all the things she has to use. Now she is going to try buying it on line from the manufacturer. Some woman need this formula as they have no other choice.


  • well nope i haven’t personally seen it but it is apparently happening a lot. maybe formula should be perscription based and that would stop everybody taking advantage of it and save the supplies for the guenine


  • It’s sad that this is even a thing in this day and age,,,, can’t the formula companies increase supply to meet demands??


  • This is not being enforced. We can only sometimes find our formula.
    The formula companies should sell to China direct.


  • I’d also like to see the sales being monitored a bit more closely. It’s a basic human right to be able to nourish your child and shouldn’t be made into a stressful situation because of the greed of individuals wanting to make a profit. I’d like to know more about the customs controls and taxes involved like another mum said. It should be clamped down upon like other products going through customs that people attempt to make considerable profits on.


  • I think it is wrong that this happens, haven’t seen it myself but hear and read about it, apparently a money making venture for them buying it and sending it to China for premium prices. Is totally wrong wrong and wrong. A limit must be adhered to and enforced by the retailers, and that should be only 1 or 2 cans, not 4.


  • Amazing what happens when there’s an insatiable demand for something.


  • No, I have not witnessed this at all. I wonder why there is this shortage and why the production doesn’t go up when there is such high demand ?


  • it’s been happening for years in melbourne! I think it is disgusting that families will go in as a group like 5 or 6 people and each grab their personal limit then all go through different checkouts and meet up at the end of it in plain sight of supermarket employees only buying tins of formula and nothing else – I think the employees are powerless to actually stop it – something different needs to be imposed rather than the customer limit currently in place at the supermarket and some sort of enforcement with regards to how they are actually getting these tins of formula out of the country because until they are actually penalised they will not stop! and Australian mothers who need it will not be able to get it as there will not be enough

    • I do wonder about customs and taxes and the profits from on selling?


  • I live in regional WA and never noticed such a thing before. Terrible!


  • I live in a rural area and its not happening here (yet) but maybe the stores who don’t enforce the limit (and 4 per day is way too high anyway) start getting fined if there is video evidence of people ignoring them?


  • I have started noticing it now as well, have seen people asking on facebook for specific types of formula in country towns because they can’t find it in the cities


  • This is happening again and it needs to be monitored.


  • Would love to know why Coles never stopped this practice??Clearly a sale is a sale to them.
    These people need to be watched and warned …then banned from the store if this continues to happen.


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