Thursday, January 18, 2007

Small Wonder

Living away from home has its disadvantages. Not least among them is having to do one's own laundry. And if one happens to be a poor software engineer in Bangalore, a washing machine is most definitely out of the question. (As if not having mom around wasn’t bad enough!) But like most unpleasant things in life, this too can be a learning experience.

For example, I learnt that a 500g packet of a popular detergent powder costs more than ten 50g sachets of the same product. But how can it be? Shouldn’t larger packs be more economical than smaller ones? Or at the least, shouldn’t smaller packs refrain from being more economical than larger ones? Else, why would anyone ever buy the larger pack?

May be this was just an exception. It could be a conscious attempt to encourage consumers to try out the product. Or perhaps, the marketing types had formulated this sinister plan as part of a larger conspiracy against the unsuspecting consumer. Yeah, a conspiracy sounds just like the thing an FMCG giant would be involved in. (Wicked grin).

Over time, I realized that my detergent sachet was not an isolated freak of marketing. Many such pricing deviations are hiding in supermarket shelves and neighborhood stores everywhere. I recently came across this popular brand of tea powder. A 500g pack costs 17% more per gram than a 100g pack. But I'm still curious to know the cause this phenomenon. And that’s one more reason to want to go to B-school. Meanwhile though, I’m happy eating the Appam instead of counting the Kuzhi. Appam and tea.

No comments:

Post a Comment