I’ve turned into one of those boring people who looks out for specials in the supermarket.
This deal is from this week’s Safeway/Woolworths catalogue. If you happen to occasionally buy frozen fish and frozen chips, it appears to be a pretty good deal, saving $3.55.
(Sometimes I’ll use this type of thing; sometimes I’d prefer salmon or barramundi fillets on the BBQ, but either way, combine with lemon juice, mayonnaise, spinach leaves, cheese and perhaps a slice of tomato in brown round rolls… there you go, that’s my fish burger recipe. A good quick dinner for work nights.)
At the supermarket, they’ve stacked the fish and the chips in the special together with a big sign pointing you to it.
So, it’s just a matter of grabbing the fish, grabbing the chips, and heading to the checkout to enjoy your savings, right?
Not so fast.
If you try that, keep a watch at the checkout, because the items came up for me with no saving. On querying it, the lady said she wasn’t familiar with the special, but suggested it might be for specific items only.
But, I protested, they’re all piled together, highlighted as one. The “special” display includes about 4-5 fish varieties, all 425 grams as specified in the special. And there are straight chips and crinkle cut, again, all in the special display.
I hadn’t even seen it in the catalogue, but had found it via the display, and had grabbed the straight chips and the Deep Sea Dory original fish.
With the display set up in this way, how is a punter meant to know which specific products need to be combined to get the special price?
Sure, the small sign on the freezer door shows the items to be combined for the special, but it’s far from clear that it’s limited to just those two items, and the context implies it’s not.
Note that both the frozen fish and the frozen chips normally live elsewhere in the frozen food aisle. There’s no reason to be putting the items which are not part of the special into the cabinet with the big “Special” signage.
In my book, the advertising, the programming of the cash registers, and the presentation of these products don’t all match up. Is it carelessness, or deliberate?
And how many people just grab what they think is a special, but don’t notice at the checkout?
I swapped the fish for the one covered by the special and got my $3.55 saving. How many others might notice, but not bother querying it?
As always, it pays to check the small print.