The wife asked me to drop by the store this evening and pick up a gallon of milk and some cheese slices, the latter for the hamburgers she plans to cook tomorrow. So I hobbled my way into the store — my knee surgery was only a week ago and the knee is still pretty weak, but I’m managing to get around — and when I reached the fridge with the Kraft American Singles in it I had to decide if I wanted 16 slices or 24. Now this is pretty basic cheese we’re dealing with and the only difference between the two packages was the number of slices with one having an extra 8 in it. There’s not a lot else to base the purchase decision on.
Or so I thought.
Turns out there was one other thing to consider and that was the price. There’s quite a difference in cost between 16 and 24 slices of Kraft American Singles. You see, the price for 16 slices was $2.49 and the price for 24 slices is $4.89. That’s nearly a doubling of the cost for only half as much extra cheese. If I were to buy two 16 packs I’d spend $4.98 and I’d have 32 slices of cheese so why was the 24 slice package priced a mere 9¢ cheaper?
Was there something particularly amazing about those extra eight slices that justified nearly doubling the price over the 16 slice package? Had they been hand dipped in cognac or cocaine prior to packaging? Did they come with a secret decoder ring? Were they simply more cheesier than the first 16 slices? What the fucking fuck?
My guess is they were counting on folks to look more closely at the number of slices than at the cost of the slices themselves. At $2.49 for 16 slices you’re paying around 16¢ a slice and at $4.89 for 24 slices that price per slice jumps to 20¢. Ah, but you only have to carry one item to have 24 instead of two items to have 32. I guess that 4¢ difference in the cost of slices was for the convenience factor.
It probably says something that I sat down and calculated all of that out. Or that it was obvious enough to me while standing in the store that I paused long enough to be boggled by the audacity of it. I don’t often notice such things, but when I do I’m always amazed by it.