Monday, November 11, 2013

Another Odd Consumer Charging Practice

It always strikes me as dishonest that supermarkets in Toronto put a higher price on brown eggs over the white ones.  

If you’re unfamiliar with the reasoning behind the two colours, it’s just down to the colour of the chicken that laid them.  White chickens lay white eggs - red/brown ones lay brown eggs.

This week’s AIMIS report from Agriculture Canada says a dozen Large Grade A eggs in Ontario is currently $1.96 wholesale.  The supermarket prices generally start at $2.69 and generally top-out somewhere in the $3.60 range. Where I buy them (No Frills), you generally see about a $0.30 difference between the brown and white eggs.

It’s the same product.  The wholesale side sees it as the same product, and the government sees it as the same product, yet it’s sold to the consumer in a way that the old wives tales of “brown being better” means that you are basically being charged a premium for your ignorance.  

Now, if you ask any supermarket if it’s wrong to charge people for being ignorant, you’ll probably hear them all decry the practice.  So why does it continue?  Is it literally the case that nobody has questioned this?