Sunday, October 18, 2009


Small apples often better the bigger apple of their type for juiciness and flavour, the Cox apple which we only see for a very short time, being an example of this.  The packs of little apples on the shop shelf - sadly not Cox's - looked like a good alternative to the non-existent Cox.  I would need two bags because of the size of the apples. I checked the price, thought they would be okay,  and then thought again.   I wondered what the total weight of the purchase would be, so, went in search of weighing scales and weighed the pack.

Twenty per cent difference...never!  I studied the pre-wrapped wee apples, about six of them in the bag, that were now sitting on the scales.  I weighed them again, just in case I had misread the dial.  The fruits really were perfectly formed,  they were also very small.  Each bag was a fixed price of £1.35p.

Just below the pre-packed apples, on another shelf, the same apple was sold loose.  These were larger pieces of fruit priced at £1.37p per kilo. The pre-packed bag of small apples weighed 800grms.  The loose apples I could weigh up to the kilo,  and obtain the weight value.

There is so much shopping psychology at play today, which to a large extent relies on people who do not take the time to make comparisons.


MKL said...

Wow, I'd need you to compare prices for me. How do I hire you and do you work for free? :P If not, there's no difference in the price for me, hehe...

ZACL said...

Oh MKL, I am sure you could work out the differences if you took a notion to do it. :)

I don't usually buy pre-packed apples from this type of store. I like to select the fruits I want to buy. It was nearly being tempted by the small fruit that generated the impulse to purchase the bag. It was my curiosity that caused me to weigh the bag to check the weight value. I'm glad I did. I shall be even more value conscious than usual from now on.

Vincent said...

I'm not quite clear, ZACL. Are you saying that the pre-packed apples were actually 750 grams approx?

I agree about this price-checking, and that it's almost always better to avoid the pre-packs.

Flighty said...

There have been articles in the media recently about various items having been slighty reduced in quantity/weight but kept at the same price! That, of course, avoids us having to be told that the price has actually increased.
What also annoys me is that everything done like that is always 'in the best interest of the consumer' or such such other nonsensical statement! xx

ZACL said...

Hi Vincent,

How are you?

The pre-packed bag of pretty little apples were 800grms in total weight.

Apart from the weight and price issues, the pack of little apples would have been a false economy to buy, as two at a time would have been eaten...I won't say by whom!

I don't usually bother with pre-packs where they can be avoided. Lidl's for example, rarely have the apples we eat in anything but pre-packs. The pricing is very different in that store and so is the freshness. I prefer to go where I can obtain loose fresh produce and between the two stores where that is possible, the price differences are notable,however, the shopping psychology is the the same.

Hello Mr F,

My experience is a very similar one to the circumstances you outline, the extra clever bit is that the wee fruits were 2p less (fixed price) for 800 grms on the shelf price than a kilo of the same type of apple. It was an interesting game.

adamantixx said...

i'm far too lazy to check the prices and relative values out, my wife takes care of that otherwise i'll just pick-up the nearest bag of apples!

ZACL said...

Hi Ax. What you say, doesn't sound rare, in fact far from it. It is precisely why, the shopping psychology industry is doing so well, and we see the type of selling model that I posted about.

Sociologically speaking, it hits the poorest pockets. Six pieces of fruit in a bag, never mind the weight, is visually more appealing than buying, say, three larger apples that are 20% better value weight for weight. In our household, purchasing those bags would have been false economy, as the apples would have disappeared very quickly indeed.

Then there are mum's who have had introduced into the psyche, the lunch-box size fruit. Probably a well meant child health campaign at introduction, but now deviously used.