Thursday, June 2, 2011

SUPERMARKET TRICKS 101 - packaging

Yo! I love shopping at a supermarket. Well, overall, as it is contingent on parking and queues. But something puzzles me. A lot puzzles me. So one by one i am going to go through some of the tricks supermarkets play on us and you sweet people will let me know if i'm missing the meaning of life in all this somewhere.

Let's start with a simple one - as i was only very recently enjoying a cheap garlic bread from my local supermarket. 
NO NAME ITEMS. That's pretty much the generic name for low cost versions of any product. There are no name versions of a big range of stuff too. The word on the street outside my local pizza joint is that the goods in the no name packaging are often exactly the same as in normally packaged/higher priced versions, and that they are made on exactly the same production line in many instances. So how do supermarkets justify having different lines of exactly the same product i hear you ask, well in some instances they do annoying stuff to put price conscious people back in their rightful place in society. My fave is milk in cartons.
What happens if you buy the cheap milk is this - when you pull on the tab to open the container of milk it either doesn't work at all and snaps off in your hand, OR, it comes off so easily that you aren't paying attention, and you lose a quarter of it on the floor, the bench, the carpet, the table, your dress or your jeans. But, that is supermarket revenge delayed, and supermarkets want your trauma at having the audacity to buy the cheap milk to also be immediate and public. This is how they do it. Implanted in the barcode of the item is instructions that checkout aisles can read and the checkout assistant goes into annoyance/embarrassment mode - time to change over till - person before you appears to forget their CC pin - printer roll on the register runs out - person in front of you insists on finding the exact 98 cents in the bottom of their bag.
You know this is true.
You only don't know all this is true if you've never bought a no-name item :) Personally i can recommend the garlic bread :)
Okies on with my day.
Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your stories too!


  1. Normal living here, even some grocery stores are no name and even they have no name exactly what is a no name product twice removed ;)...personally I love self check out!!!

  2. You know that rumour about the contents of 'no name' stuff floats around out local bakery (we don't have a pizza joint) but I think they are wrong cos there is one item I always buy in black and gold - tomato puree. You know why? Well the only ingredient is TOMATOES. Even the best brands have added water and other stuffs. So I guess the reason the other brands charge more is that you're paying for the additives and the water, salt or sugar.

    Yeah when I go to the city I love self check out too - except when computer says, "No"!