Have you ever gone into a supermarket and picked up a pack of shredded vegetables, artfully arranged in a Styrofoam tray wrapped in cling wrap? Do you rejoice at the convenience but balk at the price? Do you suck your teeth, mutter to yourself, ‘For this little bit of thing?’ and still toss a couple of trays into your shopping basket? If you have, you are not alone.
Last week I was in a supermarket shopping for yogurt, butter and cheese, and wandered over to the refrigerated section where they stock vegetables. I went to check out the prices (research purposes; I do not buy vegetables in supermarkets). A woman was standing nearby, staring at the multilayered row of neatly packed shredded vegetables, arranged so that the trays were standing on their sides to clearly display their contents. The eye-pleasing colour combination of green (broccoli florets), orange (carrots), white (cabbage) and purple (cabbage) was very inviting, until you zoomed in on the price and picked up a tray for careful examination of the weight and quantity. The woman turned to me, a packet of the shredded vegetables in hand and said, “Can you believe these people? [Meaning the supermarket owners/conglomerate]. Look how much money they want for this little bit of thing?” I nodded in agreement of incredulity at the situation. There were about 5 thin slices of carrots, 5 small broccoli florets, and less than a handful each of shredded white and purple cabbage. However, the vegetables were fanned out to cover the surface of the tray giving the impression of plentitude.
“They’re charging for the convenience,” I said…..