Sunday, October 18, 2009

Have You Noticed?

Yesterday i was doing my grocery shopping at a major Canadian chain grocery store. I bought a 3-lb. bag of Macintosh apples for $3.98. Nearby, was a tiered display of bags of apples on sale for $2.99, with a prominent sign for each variety, and the price. Why didn't I buy one of those? Because....if you looked closely, those bags were only 2 lb.! You were paying less, because you were getting less!

A little while later, I was in the dairy aisle, looking at yogourt. I finally selected a tub for $2.99. On my prior shopping trip, ten days or so earlier, I'd managed to get two tubs for $5.00. Those were a bargain -- especially because they were 750 grams each. The $2.99 tub contained only 650 grams. But what really got my goat was that, looking at all the brands, I realized they've all gone down to 650 grams -- but the containers are the same size as the 750-gram ones (I checked the one I bought yesterday with one I had in the recycling box from 10 days ago).

Still later, I was in the meat section, looking for the centre-cut pork loin chops advertised at $4 for 4 chops or $6 for 6 chops -- in other words, $1 a chop: a great deal for a single person like me. First I found the nice, thick lean centre-cut chops -- but not in packs of four or six, and definitely not at that price. Then I found the ones on sale -- thinner by a good 1/2 inch, and with a 1/2-inch or so rim of fat around the edge of each. Maybe a deal, but not as good quality, and not as much chop for the money, either!

I have to wonder: do the Powers That Be in supermarkets think their buyers have just fallen off the back of a truck? Or that they're so busy and stressed that they aren't paying attention to these sorts of deceptions?

Anyone else noticed this?

3 comments:

Gina said...

Most people ARE so busy and stressed that they're not paying attention. And markets take advantage of this where they can. Some DO try to educate, though. At Superstore and Safeway, they often have fine print beside the advertised price that gives you the cost per 100g or whatever, so a *smart* shopper can compare properly. Sometimes a brand name on sale ends up being a better deal than the store's brand! But you still have to be paying attention to notice. I watched Street Cents when I was younger; I am well-informed. :)

Ruth@VS said...

You're right and it's not just in Canada! People simply don't notice. I noticed today a 2 for the price of 1 offer - actually it was nothing of the sort, it was 2 for the price of 1.75! But most people wouldn't remember the price it was before the "offer".

A lot of this changing of sizes has happened lately - reduce the size, keep the price the same and package it as a special offer. Deceitful, yes, profitable, definitely.

Sigrun said...

I guess we consumers just have to always keep our guard up. I really believe in trying to buy Canadian products, such as Beef, pork, chicken, etc. Costco advertises Alberta Beef, so when I saw whole pork loins on for a good price, I didn't check the label till I brought it home to cut up for smaller roasts. That's when the label shrieked up at me: Product of Colorado USA. I was kind of miffed.