Buy one get none free

Faced with rising food costs and garbage piles, Britain’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, is asking British citizens to conserve more food. Among his recommendations are an end to buy-one-get-one-free offers (or bogofs, as they are known among marketers). Brown’s plea comes with a Cabinet Report and a public relations campaign.

Good luck, says the Telegraph’s Henry Wallop, who cites these statistics:

Industry survey after industry survey shows that supermarket shoppers respond very favourably to bogofs. IGD, the data company which monitors supermarkets and which provided data for this week’s Cabinet Office report, estimates that a quarter of all shoppers buy goods because they are part of a buy-one-get-one-free offer. As a result, more than 80 per cent of all promotional activity within supermarkets is a bogof or three-for-two.

Bogofs are twice as popular among toiletries as they are among meat or vegetables, which means ending them, even if possible, might not be such a quick fix for conserving food.

Best headline on the subject (also from the Telegraph): “Food waste: Consumers tell Gordon Brown to bogof if he wants to ban buy one get one free.”

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