Popular brands are paying Coles to be featured in a new range of collectable give-away items in the shape of miniature products.
The supermarket giant announced on Monday that customers will have the option of receiving a collectable for every $30 they spend.
The items are not miniature products, but purely ornamental collectables.
Coles confirmed with The New Daily that suppliers had paid to have their products featured among the sponsored collectables.
The household brands include Nutella, Milo, Vegemite, Weet-Bix and Tim Tam.
“Yay, more plastic for landfill,” Mike Lomman tweeted in reaction to the announcement.
“Guess it’s not enough having sweets at eye level at every checkout for kids to see, now they’re bringing out more toys for them to chuck tantrums over,” another Twitter user wrote.
Coles managing director John Durkan said the items were intended to be collected and swapped by customers.
“We know our customers love collectables so we have worked with our suppliers to launch a new collectable campaign in our supermarkets across Australia from Wednesday,” he said.
“We have designed them together with our suppliers to be miniature replicas of some of the most loved products on our supermarket shelves.
We are aiming to give our customers something fun – a miniature to collect and enjoy.”
While there is no explicit indication that the campaign is being marketed towards children, Coles is selling additional items including miniature shopping baskets and trolleys, and a miniature shopfront.
Mr Durkan said Coles will also be holding a Swap Day at selected stores across the country to help customers complete their collections.
Leading retail expert Gary Mortimer described it as a “smart campaign”.
He said he believed children would find the collectables “of great interest”.
“It costs the supermarket nothing and suppliers fund the collectables,” he said.
“A good topical tactic, but straight out of the Woolworths playbook.
“Woolworths has a long history with collectables, from Marvel Hero’s to Disney Pixar. Some were so popular they were being on-sold.”