BOGOF to Bug Off?

Bye bye, ‘buy-one-get-one-free?’ This beloved sales scheme is under threat in the UK, where it’s called BOGOF.

The British government is working on its first food policy since WWII rationing ended and released a preliminary assessment on Monday. In the food policy, the government will call on retailers to abolish the tempting retail policy blamed for luring shoppers into buying more than they can photo by chez pim via creative commonseat.

I’m not completely sold on this move–it won’t help the poor who make full use of these sales. But I don’t think it will apply to frozen food and non-perishables, based on page 39 of the full preliminary report. Also, I love these accompanying ideas:

Supermarket chiefs will be told instead to offer half-price deals and package food in a greater range of sizes to suit the single person’s fridge as well as the family’s. 

Oh, and Britain’s Environment Secretary Hilary Benn also advised Britons to ignore “best before” dates. Sensible chap. Benn is fast becoming my hero. 

Do you think the British government is on the right track? Banning BOGOF certainly won’t be popular. Whatever your opinion, you can’t accuse them of indifference. Now U.S. lawmakers, on the other hand…

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4 Comments

  1. Posted August 12, 2009 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    As long as the supermarkets offered half price deals instead, I would be fine with this idea, although it doesn’t seem like it gets to the root of the problem. Unless you change people’s habits, they’ll still waste food regardless of how supermarkets run their sales.

    I don’t know what it’s like in the UK, but here in the US, most of the buy one, get one free deals are for shelf-stable things like detergent, pasta, and so on. I do see BOGO sales on meat fairly often, though, now that I think about it. Those really annoy me because to get the best deal, you have to find two meat packages that are really close in size.

  2. Bellen
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Having received my BS degree in Home Ec in 1968, I was educated during Pres. Johnson’s War on Poverty. This means I was trained to get 2 cents worth out of every penny. At that time banks even employed Home Economists to teach budgeting, food costs and preparation, etc. Hard to believe in these times.

    So, I agree with Kristen that people’s habits must be changed. I disagree about finding the two meat packages that are really close in size only because when our local WinnDixie has these sales they make sure the packages are close in size. If the store doesn’t politely request that they do.

    I do not feel it is the government’s role to legislate stupidity, which they would be doing if they ban BOGOs. I would be much more receptive to the store offering education, and the government offering education. Educating people in the wise use of money is something I have been doing, for free, for years. I’m always amazed at the response I get when I show someone how to cut their food bill by a minimum of 30% by wise choices and by not throwing food out.

  3. janes'_kid
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    At our only local supermarket, except WalMart, buy one, get one free, simply means half price.

    The only reason to mention this is to remind one to check, the buy one get one free, don’t always mean buy two.

  4. Posted August 12, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s an interesting move. I’m not sure if people will go for it, obviously. Personally I know that the price savings can lead me to buy extra, which I usually freeze or just make something with.

    Though I’m in a bit of a different situation than most, since most of the stuff I buy is produce. And I can always find ways to eat it. (Smoothies, salads, recipes, juices, etc.) Again, buy one get one free doesn’t tend to apply to produce in most grocery stores, but it does at markets a little more.

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