News Releases


Good News for Consumers in DATCP’s First-Ever Holiday Meal Price Accuracy Survey
December 19, 2013

Media Contact:  Jerad Albracht, Communications Specialist, 608-224-5007 or Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020 

MADISON – The list of ingredients for a traditional holiday meal can be dozens of items long and cost hundreds of dollars, so when you get to the checkout register you don’t want to have to worry about whether or not you’ve been overcharged for your items. To ensure that Wisconsin consumers are being charged the advertised price for their goods, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP) weights and measures inspectors recently teamed with city inspectors around the state to conduct their first-ever price verification survey on a typical holiday meal.

Results showed that consumers were charged the correct price or were even undercharged more than 99 percent of the time.

“We set up this survey to reflect what’s in the typical holiday shopper’s grocery cart,” said Sandy Chalmers, Division Administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection. “Wisconsin consumers can be confident they are being charged accurately as they shop for their holiday dinners.”

Weights and measures inspectors visited 44 stores and checked the price accuracy on a wide range of items commonly used for holiday dinners.

On the first day of the two-day survey, a total of 2,350 items were checked in the stores. The items were selected from a long list of categories that included such products as ham, turkey, milk, pie crusts, cranberry sauce and coffee. The results of the survey:

  • 99.2% of the 2,350 checked items rang up accurately or below the advertised price
    • 2,287 items rang up at the advertised price
    • 20 items rang up higher than the advertised price
    • 43 items rang up below the advertised price

On the second day of the survey, inspectors returned to 11 stores that had overcharge errors on the previous day. Only one store had one item that was not corrected.

For additional information or to file a weights and measures complaint, visit the Bureau of Weights and Measures at, send an e-mail to or call 608-224-4942.

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Link to .pdf version of full news release:  12.19.13_WMHolidayMealSurvey.pdf