Tobacco-style restrictions on baby formula as Coles takes it off the shelves and puts it behind the counter in a drastic move to stop Chinese shoppers buying up supplies
Coles has taken baby formula off the shelves and put it behind the counter like cigarettes to stop Chinese shoppers cleaning out stock to on-sell it at inflated prices in Asia.
An image posted by a reddit user in Sydney's inner-west showed a sign in a Coles supermarket saying the product had been moved to behind the counter.
'Popular lines of baby formula will now be available from the service kiosk to provide equal opportunity for all customers and deter theft,' the sign said.
'Please note a limit of two per customer still apply.'
The photo, posted by a reader at Five Dock in Sydney, was captioned 'good guy Coles'.
Coles confirmed to Daily Mail Australia it had limited baby food quantities to 'two units per customer' as Chinese customers continued to buy the product in bulk so it could be sold in China at inflated prices.
'Coles is committed to ensuring that our customers with a genuine need for infant formula have access to this product,' a supermarket spokeswoman said on Monday.
'To make sure we have formula available for customers, in some stores we are keeping infant formula behind the service desk or using specially designed electronic article surveillance lids that can only be removed at the register.'
Shoppers have been slammed in recent months for buying the baby formula to sell for a profit online in China, where there have been a series of quality control problems with baby food.
So enormous is the demand from China for Australian-made baby formula that Aptamil increased the production of its formula by 50 per cent in just three months.
Many major supermarkets have had to set a limit per customer - but crowds of Asian shoppers reportedly go through the checkout and return to buy more tins of the product.
Dozens of photos and videos have emerged showing Chinese shoppers cleaning out entire supermarkets of baby formula tins.