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Whole Foods deceptive pricing?

Our local WF today had fresh, wild-caught Alaskan halibut for about $22/lb. Out of our price range, but right next to it were smaller halibut fillets, labeled "Wild halibut, previously frozen, 6-7oz fillets, $9.89."

Great, I asked for two pieces, just enough for two of us for dinner tonight. The price on the package he handed me was $19. It turns out, it was $9.89 per piece, not per pound. I handed the package right back, we'll have something else for dinner tonight.

Anyone else find this practice kind of sneaky? I'll add that we stopped to check - every other thing in the case is priced per pound. And BTW, if the individual pieces are 6-7 ounces, but each piece costs the same, obviously the per-pound price varies depending on which piece you're given.

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  1. They aren't the only entity doing this, but I did almost get confused by it. I thought "wow, what a great price", but at the last minute caught the "per portion" adjective.

    1. I noticed a similar discrepancy recently. Net bags of fingerling potatoes, with a sign reading $1.98 lb". No weight label on the bag, but they wer 2 lb bags. Not a big deal, but i felt like it was intentionally unclear.

      1. Not sure that I agree it's deceptive (it's not as if you can't see what you're being charged before you pay for it) but it's in line with other store's practices. The more egregious ones are the deli counters where certain items are priced per pound and others have tags with tiny print indicating "per 1/2 lb". Always best to ask.

        1. i don't think it is at all sneaky.

          1. I see that regularly at all groceries. Don't find it to be deceptive at all.

            1. I was at the fish counter the other day where I observed an enthusiastic shopper loudly comment "What a good price!" for some large, beautiful $3.00 shrimp. And then he saw it was per piece.

              Sure, logically someone walking into an expensive yuppie market like WF should know better. But ultimately, I do believe this is deceptive because the reason for scrambling the "per piece" with "per lb" (or the utterly despicable "per 1/2 lb") is a way for Whole Foods (and other retailers) to quietly access the part of your brain, that inner animal cheapskate shopper, which pulls out the wallet.

              For many shoppers, WF knows that once that mental switch to buy has been triggered, many will continue making the purchase. By the time you realize you've been duped (and many will not-- WF is counting on this too), some people won't care, some will be too shy to say anything, or for any other myriad number of reasons, will actually buy the stuff despite having been bamboozled, and the practice continues. So yes, it's a deceptive practice, but it works because there are enough people who fall for it or don't care, and it's legal, so WF has no incentive to discontinue the practice. It's revolting.

              But at the same time, that's how it has worked in America for a long time, ever since JC Penney decided to charge $9.99 instead of $10.00, accessing our illogical inner animal shopper cheapskate. And then there's the fact that tax doesn't have to be included in the price-- so that "$9" price tag which got you to take out your wallet is suddenly almost $11. "Bait-and-switch" is so entrenched in our shopping culture that it's actually sanctioned by law. Spend any time around visiting foreigners, and the insanity of this practice becomes readily apparent.

              It is awfully refreshing to shop virtually anywhere else in the non-haggling world, where the price you see is what you pay. No psychological trickery. (And all tips are included in the price). I really wish we would implement this in our culture, but there's too much money to be made by the illogical shopper cheapskate in all of us.

              Mr Taster

              2 Replies
              1. re: Mr Taster

                I'm not going to get into the larger subject which I think is off or beyond topic anyway but will say that there are times an "each" price is a good thing. I've never seen shrimp priced that way but have seen lobster tails. Since I usually buy shrimp and lobster tails by the units rather than the pound, it's actually a positive at times. I've never seen an artichoke sold by the pound and wouldn't want it to be. Again, when I'm buying one or two I'm more interested in the actual cost. I frequently find fennel by the each but occasionally by the #. Same with bunches of chard or collards that are bundled. My $0.02.

                1. re: c oliver

                  A large part of the reason that my shrimp example was especially deceptive is that the "per piece" shrimp was *smack dab* in the middle of other types of "per pound" shrimp. So the illogical cheapskate shopper brain draws an incorrect conclusion based on the context, and identifies a bargain.

                  Yes, absolutely if you give it more thought and pull out the logical part of your brain, you can see what's going on. But that doesn't forgive Whole Foods for doing something intentionally deceptive to trigger people's buying impulse.

                  The fact is, it's a marketing practice that works *specifically because* it deceives. Free marketeers won't see it this way... buyer beware, free choice, etc. But I absolutely think it's an immoral, albeit successful practice crafted by people who understand the weaknesses of human psychology and manipulate it for profit. That's not right.

                  Mr Taster

              2. I think it's a bit sneaky, but I wouldn't mind. It's just that it's WF, which is generally accepted as the most expensive grocery store. So...

                1 Reply
                1. re: ediblover

                  WF might be the most expensive where you live, but not in LA...

                  Mr Taster

                2. Although I agree with some posters that it is common - WF DOES do something that is tricky, and I'm not sure what it is. It could be font, placement, or something, but I definitely get caught at WF while I don't seem to have that problem elsewhere.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: redips

                    I guess maybe sneaky is too strong a word and I should have paid more attention, but after I sent the original message, I realized we'd just had a similar experience with another product. We're trying to use less white flour, so when I DH saw spelt pasta on the shelf, he grabbed a package. The price was $2.99 (okay, $3) - not till I got it home did we realize it was an 8 oz package. I returned it the next day - $6/pound for pasta, while not a huge amount of money, is just more than it's worth to me. I guess, judging from what others have said, it's not an uncommon pricing strategy for WF. We'll still shop there for certain items, but I'll be a lot more watchful from now on.

                    1. re: judybird

                      I'm sorry but there's quite a bit of diffence in package size between 8oz of pasta and 16oz. That's not a mistake that would be easily made - at least not by this frugal shopper :)

                      1. re: c oliver

                        This isn't quite of the same caliber of deception as those cans of tuna which quietly downsized (without lowering the price or changing the packaging, other than to change the "6 oz", which has been there for decades, to "5 oz".)

                        But, there is more or less a "standard" size for a box of dried pasta (which is what most recipes call for) and that's 16 oz, not 8 oz. But you're right, it's a much more obvious change, and I'm less likely to feel sympathetic for someone deceived by this, but it still does tap into that inner illogical cheapskate shopper so there's fault to pass around to all parties on this one.

                        Mr Taster

                        1. re: Mr Taster

                          I commonly buy Mexican pasta (usually small sizes) in 8oz packages. European packaged pasta may be 500g.

                          It's not uncommon to see specialty items (like spelt) sold in smaller packages. People are more likely to try something new for $3 than for $6. Common oils like corn, or low cost olive are sold in 1 qt or larger bottles, while specialty EVOO may be in pint bottles.

                  2. Thanks for starting this thread judybird. I've been having an awful time of it lately, something really bad has happened in my life. But I still need to eat and take care of myself. My local WF has narrow aisles and is cramped. I forced myself to go there last sunday because I was out of dental gum, but thank goodness I didn't shop alone.
                    I decided since I was there anyway to grab some seafood from the seafood dept. I asked for a pound of scallops and since my mind was elsewhere I didn't specify. Did they ask? Ha! Of course the woman reached for the scallops that were twice as expensive. I didn't even notice but my friend was like umm don't you want the cheaper ones? Since I have never cooked scallops before I sure did. I'll work my way up to the pricier ones. Lessons learned: avoid WF when you are under a great deal of stress and if you insist on going, bring back up!!!!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: givemecarbs

                      To be fair, there's a lot of "caveat emptor" at work in Whole Foods, so sticker shock shouldn't really be that big an issue. Kind of like going to a gas station every week and expressing shock at the high price of gas.

                    2. If the price cards clearly state "ea." or "per piece", you really can't claim deception.

                      And unfortunately, many markets are now selling fresh fish in this fashion. Around here, in addition to Whole Foods, both Martins & Wegmans supermarkets sell some of their fish in this manner. I don't mind buying it this way from Wegmans, because their seafood is not only super uber fresh (9 times out of 10 they're cutting filets & steaks from whole fish while you watch), but the pieces are always a nice uniform size & they're very clear as to how it's being sold.

                      We're all just going to have to be more careful when perusing the seafood counters.

                      1. I almost got caught by this today at our Whole Foods. I thought maybe to try some good looking salmon pieces in a marinade, and noticed the $8.99 but almost didn't catch the small print that said "per piece", when EVERYTHING else in the case is per lb. Seriously, $18/lb for salmon? Right next to it was macadamia crusted mahi mahi for $13.99, which will be dinner.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Hensley

                          If it ain't farmed salmon $18 is a very good price. Mahi-mahi is one of the "garbage" fish that's cheap and plentiful (in Mexico it's pretty much the cheapest fish around), so I'd argue that $14 a pound is pretty high.

                        2. More reason to not buy much of anything at a grocery store unless you have to!

                          You are probably a more alert shopper than most, that is why they don't change their practices- it works!

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: sedimental

                            Most of us aren't "living off the land" so grocery stores are pretty much need to have.

                            I guess I'm more alert than OP because I don't believe I've ever not realized that something was a unit price rather than a weight. And if I saw shrimp for $3 and assumed it was per pound while those on each side were multiples of that, you can bet I'd look closely and even question. But, Mr. Taster, I'll give you that one :)

                            1. re: sedimental

                              I don't think WFM is into ripping people off. You should see what Kroger does on organics in a place without WFM competing. Specifically, they charge higher prices than in communities with WFMs where they price-match or go lower than WFM.

                              WFM is working hard in eliminating trans-fats, High Fructose Corn Syrup, MSG, and artificial colors and flavorings. Their seafood is good, especially for the hinterland. If you live in Cali, you have so many options, not available in the middle of the continent, find little local;-product markets that have freshest stuff, and avoid chains, even WFM. But for a lot of the country, WFM is far and away the best available.

                              If you want the very best, if you live in a coastal zone, grow your own stuff, go fishing and digging and diving, and eat "I picked/caught this stuff myself an hour ago, or this morning." In Mexico we caught mahi-mahi (dorado) and chef prepared it three hours later. Trash fish? I don't think so. We used to eat caught-this-morning salmon in Oregon and Monterey (which we caught, cleaned and prepared.) We caught nightime lobsters in San Diego and did late-night cooking. Caught earlier today abs were out of this world. We cut lettuce, picked tomatoes and strawberries ripened on the vine, ate ripe apricots and cherries off the tree, blue and blackberries off the bush. These things were fantastic. We slurped up live oysters that we hand=-harvested in the San Juan Islands, and then when they were coal-imbedded cooked a few hours later, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm,

                              You can't buy this stuff, except by going to the farmers/harvesters. One time in Galveston, I bought some live shrimp off the docking boat. Was it delish that night? Yes.

                              1. re: MarkKS

                                Excellent post, MKS. BTW, at least in NoCal no one uses the term "Cali" except when referring to the Colombian city :) But you're so right. Those who live on the coast AND in agricultural areas certainly do have it better. Not necessarily cheaper but better access. And I don't mind paying for it. But the complaints about WFM seems narrow-minded to me. I shop regularly to not so often at a half dozen groceries and I think what OP describes is so commonplace that, IMO, it's hardly worth noting.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  That's what I was referring to, not "living off the land". I don't recall suggesting the OP go out and pick berries to eat instead.

                                  If you shop local, shop specialty stores (or online) and make your own really "easy to make" items- there is much less need for the traditional grocery store. So much less need, that the small price issues and various marketing practices are not really even relevant anymore.

                                  1. re: sedimental

                                    Sorry. Just a misunderstanding of terminology. To me "shop local, shop specialty stores (or online)" is still a grocery store. And I think one will still find the type of selling that OP is referring. I also think that anyone who can follow a recipe should be able to discern the vagaries of store labeling.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      No. There are certainly not those practices at my farmers market (local) or online -or at my specialty market (Asian, Mexican and eastern European) nor are those practices at my fishmonger, my ranch guy where I buy beef, or at my cheese shop. I have never seen them but at a Supermarket. I shop at Costco too- I have never seen it there either (but I only buy very selective things there too, so ?) but their bulk pricing is always clear to me.

                                      If you buy almost all your food at a typical grocery store- you are much more susceptible to marketing practices designed to catch you off guard so that you might pay more for something without realizing it. Even at a "nice" store like WF -and I like WF.

                                      This is especially true when you have a *huge* list of all kinds of items. It is really difficult to be reading ingredient labels and having to double or triple check the price label for each item -when you have 60 or 70 items. It is much easier - if you have only 10 items. Less likely to be caught off guard.

                                      Although I don't think it has been mentioned yet but quasi-deceptive marketing with our food is also really hard on disabled, elderly, young/inexperienced shoppers or even shoppers with several small kids to manage a huge grocery store. Those folks are often on a tight budget and likely to only shop in chain stores and they might not have a choice about it. It is JMHO but food and medicine should always be clearly labeled and easily understood by a 4th grader....but I will have to take care of that in my next job as ruler of the world :)

                                  2. re: c oliver

                                    Sorry. I grew up mostly on Central Coast for14 years, lived in Bay Area for 4 years, SoCal for 10 years, but I've been away for a long time. I'm calling it Cal from now on. :)

                              2. I think the question you should be asking is why would you ever purchase pre-cut fish when fresh whole is sitting right next to it? Whole Foods will cut to order.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: Ray2

                                  I'm can't speak for anybody else, but in our Whole Foods, when they have pre-cut fish at a specific price, they rarely have that same fish in a whole size.

                                  1. re: RB Hound

                                    When I buy fatty fish like salmon (also Chilean SB and halibut), I'm looking for shoulder and center portions, which store this energy source. Tail sections have less fat. (If you want less fat, then get tail sections, but don't get too hung up on low-fat, because coldwater fish-fat has lots of omega-3, good for your bod!)

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        Thanks for posting the link. The full text includes an approved source:

                                        "However, a small fishery exists that has made improvements in their fishing gear - to reduce seabird bycatch, and in their management plan - to end overfishing. In March 2004, the South Georgia Patagonian Toothfish Longline Fishery was certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

                                        Since only a small portion of the Chilean seabass available in the U.S. is MSC certified, consumers must be very careful. Each location that sells MSC products, including all restaurants and grocery stores, are required to have the MSC "Chain of Custody" certification. Legitimate purveyors should be able to produce this document when asked and, without this proof, consumers should assume the fish in not certified and shouldn’t make the purchase."

                                        WFM was the first seafood retailer to join MSC in 1999. WFM exec Margaret Wittenberg is a member of MSC's Stakeholder Council, which advises the Board of Trustees.


                                        Ms. Wittenberg was previously a member of MSC's governing Board of Trustees.


                                        WFM is a "National Partners :Business Partner" in Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program.


                                        There is one certified-sustainable Chilean sea bass (Patagonian toothfish) fishery, and that's the only one WFM buys from. They'll show you a "chain of custody" certification. If you prefer to shop for seafood elsewhere, and would like to try some csb, ask them to show you their chain-of-custody certification. If they can't show you it, don't buy that fish.

                                        Seafood production is problematic. Many wild-caught fisheries have been terribly depleted, some to the point of collapse. Farming poses numerous problems, including local seabed and estuary pollution, infectious diseases, overfishing of feed stocks (anchovies for farmed salmon), flood-caused escapes of non-native species into rivers, heavy-metal and other contaminants...

                                        MSC and Monterey Bay Aquarium and their supporting partners and others are working on these problems, and they have achieved significant progress.

                                        A lot of small-business fishmongers are beneficiaries of the giant chain WFM's ability to make financial contributions to sustainability-programs research and implementation, that the small-business fishmongers can't afford to do on their own, or haven't yet become organized to make coordinated group-contributions.

                                        1. re: MarkKS

                                          Excellent info. Thanks for posting it.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            WFM is imperfect. John Mackey and his girlfriend were selling bulk food from their apartment. They were kicked out. (Owner saw lots of hippies coming and going = drug dealer?)

                                            Then they rented a cheap downtown Austin space, sold veggie foods, had a restaurant, and lived upstairs.)

                                            They broke up, he decided to sell full-range groceries along the model of WindMill Farms in Del Mar, CA. Then expanded to Cal, in Palo Alto (Stanford consumers) and went into chi-chi gourmet food.

                                            Did Cal spoil WF? Maybe. Cal has spoiled a lot of people.

                                            WFM invests in local producers. Nobody used to do that. They sell bulk vegan grains cheaper than what I can get from local small markets. If you accept dairy, where animals are not kiilled, they have way more live-culture yogurt brands than anyone else. Awesome cheese bar. I guess you could say all these suppliers are miscreants, because they are using animals.

                                            I'm not into excoriating people who raise animals and taking their products to make a living. If you get down to it, vegans cut-to-death plants. Wow, that's enlightened. Not just picking fruits off trees, the trees live, but KILLING lettuce plants. Unless you just pick off leaves, and they bolt and create seeds, and they die, and spawn new life.

                                            Here is the thing, raise animals and plants, let them create next-generation-life. They die. It's okay. Life has termination, but properly understood, is also immortal.

                                  2. re: Ray2

                                    Definitely order shoulde-to-center cuts from whole-fish sides for omega-3-rich fish, if you want more fatty flavor and good fats.

                                  3. Never leave the house to food shop without eye glasses! I wouldn't even dare food shop without them!

                                    Even a market like Aldi's has taken to the price per #/price per item labeling and the only scale in that store is the register. So, I won't shop there for items per #.

                                    WF is a tricky bugger with all sorts of pricing habits but I have my eyewear in check and it makes ALL the difference.

                                    1. A lot of stores are doing this type of pricing. I don't consider it deceptive, you just need to read whether items are sold by the pound or piece. Buyer beware!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: cstr

                                        I noticed the per-piece pricing at WF a few months ago. Of course, my first thought was, "Amazing price," but then, skepticism quickly kicked in, and so I scrutinized the label. The descriptive notation (6-7 oz) was not in ultra-fine print, it just wasn't as large as the top-line dollar notation.

                                        Marketing is marketing. It's why everything is x.99 vs. x+1.00, lame in my opinion, but apparently psychologists told marketers a hundred years ago this worked. You see it from grocery stores to real estate listings.

                                      2. You enter WF, buyer beware. They do not nickname it Whole Paycheck for nothing.

                                        Is it deceptive...absolutely not. Do you need to keep on your toes at produce and fish, absolutely. Some oranges are $1 each others are $1,49 per pound, right next to each other. Sometimes I buy the 5oz pieces when it is just the 2 of us because the cutter is so bad that if you ask for 1/2 pound he gives you somewhere between 3/4-1 pound and looks at you, "Is that close enough?" Better to lessen the mental and eye-hand coordination requirements

                                        Other stores are worse and you need major coffee before going to the deli. You will see 4 hams next to each other with 40 point font 9.99, 10.99, 8.99, 12.79. The cheapest is the 12,79 item, because the first is per 1/4 pound, the middle 2 are per 1/2 pound and the 12.79 is per pound.

                                        You have to read the prices carefully.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: nobadfoodplz

                                          In Canadian delis many of the items are priced per 100g. Others might be per 500 g (close to a pound) or per 1000gm or 1 kg.

                                          Buying fennel taught me long ago to pay attention as to whether the price is by the unit or by the lb. It's been inconsistent for as long as I can remember.

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            Agreed. One store has fennel by the pound and one a few miles away has them by the unit. And the one by the unit is always the best price.

                                          2. re: nobadfoodplz

                                            Lately, I've seen red peppers and other veggies priced by the unit, some at over $2.00 ea, no way!

                                            1. re: cstr


                                              Interesting in that I have never seen peppers per piece, see some varieties of oranges, pears and cucumbers. The per piece is usually he first indication that the price is too high.

                                              1. re: nobadfoodplz

                                                Wow, you haven't lived in the Midwest. If you grew up on the WC, first time you saw apples and oranges, at "Wow! what great prices!" thinking per pound, took them to the register, wtf?
                                                Per item.

                                                I first saw this in Indiana early 90s Shnucks, then Kansas, Kroger. They've semi-shifted to per pound, but lemons and grapefruit (and a lot of other fruits) are still per item. Green bell peppers are now per pound, hot chiles, too, but red bells are per item.

                                                Nothing wrong with per-item pricing. Take the bigger items, if they look as good as the smaller ones on examination. But turn them over, examine color and skin, smell sometimes, for some things LIGHTLY finger-press, try not to be the agent of spoilage, like I have watched some people finger-gouge cantaloups, and hard-squeeze avos, THANK YOU FOR RUINING FRUITS FOR OTHER PEOPLE (fruits that you rejected).

                                            2. re: nobadfoodplz

                                              When I want a cut, I show a finger-thumb spread, and the fishermonger or butcher shows me where he/she is putting the knife, and asks, "How's this?"

                                              "Perfect," or "Give me a little bit more, that's good" or "Not quite that much, yeah that looks good."

                                              What you have to do is visualize what you want to cook. If they have to cut it in the back so you can't see it, there's nothing wrong with taking a strip of paper and a pen, and giving them a marked-out measurement gauge.

                                            3. The local Raley's started doing that recently with salmon. Three 6 oz. farmed salmon filets for $19 and change.

                                              1. I've noticed bell peppers being priced per unit, not per pound lately.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: monavano

                                                  At a local grocery, red bells jumped from $1/lb to $1 each, roughly a 4x jump - that was right after the Mexican freeze a month or 2 back. Which price feels better $1 each or $4/lb? Now some are back to the $2/lb level.

                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                    A couple months ago in the same week I paid $4/ lb at Publix for red bells and $1 each at my roadside market, and they were luscious half pounders!

                                                  2. re: monavano

                                                    I got burned by this at Safeway.

                                                    I thought Organic Bell Peppers were $2.99/lb. Turns out they were $2.99 EACH.

                                                    I haven't bought peppers there since.

                                                    1. re: NotJuliaChild

                                                      What are you paying for English cucumbers? Those are usually priced by the unit. Other cucumbers, including the small Persian, are usually by weight.

                                                      1. re: NotJuliaChild

                                                        I got burned at Safeway, Berkeley, when I was a student at Cal in the early 70s. Got some squid, packaged. Opened it, the fumes were nauseating (fishy and ammonia). How could they do this? It's the way it goes. I like WFM, even shopping over Christmas in Berk, and SF. In the mid-70s we went to Safeway, until discovering Windmill Farms, which was a totally different place.

                                                        I grew up with a Chinese-owned local market, where the German butcher was a dry-aging maestro and the Japanese produce-section manager never displayed a blem fruit, and seafood was either FRESH-TASTING, or TOSSED. Low-price-driven-shoppers went to Safeway, Lucky, Purity and Albertsons.

                                                        One of the wonderful things you can do, if you live in a place with suitable climate, and you have a yard, or community garden, is grow your own food. At UCSD, they had these gardening spaces. You had to invest in your own fencing to keep rabbits, gophers and squirrels out. I bought chicken-wire and installed it with the bottoms 8 inches deep to deter diggers, but squirrels were climbing, so I put in 12-inch top duct flashing to keep them out. Then for a few things, I had to go with bird-netting.

                                                        It was a nice time for gardening. A nearby horse-riding place was happy to let me take home as much horse sh**t with some straw residue as I could haul, no charge, because they were paying to have it hauled away. The mesa soil was terrible, so I dug as deep as 6 feet (mostly 2 ft was fine) to hollow out growing beds, mix the manure and clay, install boards to get 6 inch above natural ground level beds, and IT WORKED. I built a mini-greenhouse made of cheap lumber and plastic sheeting to increase the heat to get early-production of tomatoes and get SWEET cantaloupes with 120 F temps in a 75-degree zone.

                                                        I did intense interplanting. It produced good-stuff all-year.

                                                        This Thai wife of a graduate student one-upped me with a bigger cheap home-made greenhouse.

                                                        Our gardens were the best in the group. I had the best, because my garden had a beehive, until a s**thead invaded it, and put bees into sting mode. What a f**kup.

                                                        But almost all the student (or spouse) gardens were awesome.

                                                    2. broccoli is frequently sold in a deceptive fashion, prepackaged at $x each (all weighing different amounts) or by the pound.

                                                      I take my readers with me when I go shopping now to scrutinize the prices and ingredients.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: smartie

                                                        Broccoli crowns are generally sound per pound by me, but the price has gone up recently. I don't think it's a trend and will go on sale for $.99 per lb. soon.

                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                          Read the "fine print". I don't think WFM subjects you to this on pricing, just my experience. But read ingredients labels, which often are in fine print, that oldsters need reading glasses to read, but young folks can do sans glasses. WFM is leading the move away from artificial colorings, MSG (including yeast breakdown products), high fructose corn syrup, unsustainable seafoods.

                                                          They sell produce that has been treated with pesticides. Yes they do. They sell pen-raised salmon that is wreaking damage. But they are working on lessening environmental damage. If it's not enough, get your own garden together (with or without animals), and send a message. Join with other people, and you learn to grow some things, they do others, and share your harvests.

                                                      2. i don't think it's deceptive. i'm pretty loyal to them as it's the best market we have around here for most things. but I do try to be careful there, as I do at all supermarkets/food stores. I accidentally bought a handful of pine nuts for $12 because I thought they wouldn't weigh anything. That wasn't their fault though.
                                                        and if you want to give something back or even return it, they are great about it. someone accidentally gave me 2lbs of 18.99 fish, I didn't realize it until I got home (busy with baby or something) and I called them. they had a credit waiting for me in the store.

                                                        1. This is an interesting thread. A few days ago I was in WF shopping and had been asked to pick a "nice big tomato." I found an heirloom that fit the bill but it was priced at $4.99 per pound. There were some anemic small tomatoes, but they didn't appeal. I weighed the big tomato and it weighed exactly 1/2 lb. OK, I thought I can pay $2.50 to fill the request. I got up to the register and I noticed that I was being charged almost $5 for the single tomato. I asked, and the the checker reweighed. I guess the scales are a little off she said!

                                                          We were in a hurry. We took the tomato, but really! The scale is off by 8 oz? That singe tomato cost me five whole dollars!

                                                          1. Fish should be clearly marked "PER POUND" OR "EACH" because I have also made the same mistake. Sometimes those words are in small print under the price so you have to look for it. If you shop at one store all the time, then you know what they mean. But if you only shop there now and then, its easy to make that mistake. I sometimes shop at Trader Joes and since the seafood (fish) is prepackaged there is no misunderstanding; the sticker price is the price you pay. In smaller print, the price/pound is printed.

                                                            1. Here in Australia, a new law was introduced a few years back whereby EVERY product must have a second pricing guide added - $ per 100 gm.

                                                              So if you are comparing two packets of say, pasta, each will have the total cost and underneath the cost per hundred grams. This saves you working out the difference between 300 and 400 gram packs.
                                                              Good idea, and I have taught my better half to always check this out. He has a habit of picking an item because the packet looks nice....

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: cronker

                                                                That's something that a government does when the interests of the consumer are the primary motivation of government. It would never work in the US.

                                                                Mr Taster