A supermarket in New Zealand is being slammed for fining customers $5 for trying items before paying for them.

A sign in the NZ supermarket reads “Minimum $5 fine for eating unpaid items. Thanks”

People are questioning how they could even go about enforcing the rule?

Is it okay to “try before you buy” at the supermarket?

Reactions are mixed with some saying it is totally fine, while others argue that it is actually theft.

Do you sample fruit before buying?

Share your comments below

  • No, definitely not. I don’t even pinch a grape to taste before buying. I used to have a sister in law who would give her toddler something to eat while sitting in the trolley for shopping. Sometimes fruit, sometimes biscuits, sometimes lollies. She never paid for any of it


  • The only time you should sample fruit is if they actually put it in a container for people to sample


  • A lot of supermarkets, especially those which are independently owned ( not nationally owned not like Coles or Woolworths) have small profit margins by the time they pay all their absolutely necessary expenses including many the average person would not be aware of. They simply cannot afford to have any products – food or others – stolen. If you have a baby or small toddler who definitely needs a feed or drink, take the products to an express checkout, pay for them and keep the docket to produce when you go through the checkout again with the rest of your shopping. I have seen a lot of people do this.


  • It’s wrong to sample the fruit before you pay for it. The only thing I would eat would be packaged items with the price on the outside otherwise it is stealing.


  • I can see the point of doing this. Many people are thoughtless or even dishonest. What on earth are they teaching their kids. They are eating the shop profits. so in the long run we all pay.


  • I may eat a couple of grapes, but from the bag I’m purchasing. If my child ever ate anything else, I would keep the wrapper to pay for it.


  • When I first starting taking my grand daughter to the supermarket, about 2 yo,I used to get the grapes from the shelf and let her start to eat them. I realised that I was not teaching her about not just OK and I then got her to not eat them ’til after they were weighed. Just a small thing and only a couple of grapes but I thought it was a good lesson for her


  • It’s theft if they’re not handing out samples. People think it’s okay, they’re only having one but in reality all those little “samples” add up and the supermarket wears the cost. Unless it’s a prepackaged item with a barcode, in my eyes, you’re stealing. When supermarkets are stuck covering costs of theft their employees are usually the ones to lose out with reduced hours or loss of jobs.


  • I will try a grape to make sure they taste sweet enough for my kids otherwise I’m stuck with them all. But that’s it. And only one.


  • It is by law theft. The only thing I would eat one of is grapes. Everything else is too big to try


  • No if it’s not offered you shouldn’t try without asking


  • No, this is not right. If samples are offered within the supermarket, fine -but otherwise, to try before you by is simply another form of theft ….


  • I might as well try the bread roll before I buy it, you never know I might not like it and then I don’t want to pay for it…
    It’s actually crazy that people think they can just eat fruit or nuts or whatever before they pay for it. It is indeed a form of theft.


  • never unless there is free samples being given out – I think your technically stealing from the business selling it (regardless of if they are a large or small shop).

    I personally think it is rude.

    I don’t believe people who sample in supermarkets rock up to the counter and say by the way I sampled a banana while shopping please add the cost to my total

    • I agree – if someone has a stand and is providing free samples in a supermarket then for sure try the sample. But just taking food and sampling – no way!


  • I only ever sample at the farmers market when offered and never ever at the supermarket.


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