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On unit pricing

by Seb Chan on February 15th, 2009

My local Woolworths supermarket has finally implemented ‘unit pricing‘.

This means I can clearly see that the 600ml Coke in the fridge at the cash register is the equivalent of $5.07 per litre, whilst just across the aisle I can get a 2 litre bottle of Coke, un-refrigerated, for just $0.50 per litre. ANd I can finally figure out quickly whether the baked beans in a 465g tin are really cheaper than those in the 670g tin.

The retailers and grocery suppliers have railed against unit pricing for a long time on the grounds that consumers don’t need this extra information – and of course it is ‘way too costly to implement’.

Reality is, shopping in their eyes is more than just a rational fulfilling of needs at the cheapest price – no it is a ‘Experience’. All their marketing is about the ‘Experience’ – so of course the introduction of ‘rationality’ into this sets a cat amongst the pigeons.

Heaven forbid shoppers actually acted rationally. The economy might collapse.

Oh, that’s right, it already has.

From → Politics

One Comment
  1. Love your post. I think the problem is even when we know a bottle is cheaper than the can or what ever we still want the can. Unit pricing is good idea but retailers want us kept in the dark.

    Have you noticed how they prepack food and secretly change the packet size and keep the prce the same. Our Supermarkets in the UK just love that trick but I guess it is universal?

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