Selling metric

This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Please note that some of the advice we provide to businesses is chargeable.

Prepacked products and loose goods must be weighed and priced in grams and kilograms.

The types of goods affected by this include fruit and vegetables, meat and meat products like sausages and cooked meats, poultry, fish and other seafoods, and cheese and other dairy products. Non-food products sold loose by weight - such as nails - are also be controlled. Goods sold by length or measure must also be in metric ie metres and litres.

Conversion charts


How should loose goods be weighed?

Loose goods should be sold in metric by the gram or kilogram. This is in line with pre-packed goods making it easier for consumers to compare prices.

How must I sell these goods?

If you sell loose goods: 

  • your weighing machine must weigh in metric units. You can also use machines which show both sets of weights, provided the metric units are at least prominent as the imperial units and used for every sale
  • any computer systems and ticket-printing machines must work in grams and kilograms. Printed customer information about weights and prices - including labels, shelf-edges and point-of-sale displays - must refer to grams and kilograms
  • you can continue to display pounds and ounces next to the equivalent in grams and kilograms as long as it is less prominent than the metric
  • you should make sure that you and your staff are familiar with pricing and weighing in grams and kilograms
How do I explain the method of weighing to my customers?

There are a number of ways you can help your consumers get used to metric weights: 

  • you can explain that prepacked goods are sold in grams and kilograms, the change will make it easier for consumers to make price comparisons
  • you can display a conversion chart
  • you can display prices per 4 ounces or per pound alongside, and in characters no larger than, the price per 100 grams or per kilogram
What if customers continue to ask for goods in ounces or pounds?

Simply supply the equivalent weight in grams or kilograms and let the customer know that's what you're doing.

What about advertising?

Weights and prices must also be quoted in advertisements or on posters.