Thursday, 22 November 2012

TrayGate - The Hidden Cost Of Little Foam Trays

Some weird plastic foam. Excellent shock absorber.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
They’re innocuous enough, the little foam trays that Spinneys likes to slip your food on before it’s weighed, but they can come at a sometimes remarkable price.

Take my purchase of a slice of ‘Cotto Paganini’, 100g requested and priced at Dhs 114 per kilo. Smashing, you think. Except it’s placed on a tray and then weighed. Dhs 10.95 for a single slice of meat weighing 0.96Kg was duly paid.

But the little foam tray thingy it came on weighed 12g. That’s over a Dirham (Dhs 1.38 to be precise) for a piece of foam I am simply going to throw away. If anyone can propose a secondary use for little black foam trays, I'm all ears.

So every time you buy a weighed food item, you pay for 12g of foam at the item's given 'per kilo' price. It's a pretty significant markup  on the cost of a foam tray. It must be the most profitable thing Spinneys sells.

A quick search of the internet reveals the Jiangyin Yikang Packing Products Co., Ltd. is willing to sell me food grade EPS foam trays for $0.02 - Or Dhs 0.073 per tray.

Which means Spinneys makes Dhs 1.307 on that tray - a markup of almost two thousand percent - and it'll make more on pricier food items.

 Not bad going, eh?

(And yes, I'm not getting out enough these days)
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Grumpy Goat said...

I ask that the loose goods be weighed on feather-light paper or plastic sheet rather than in the foam trays. It sometimes works.

One day I'll buy a litre of petrol with the money I've saved!

Heidi said...

It's possible that since they use a standard tray they have their scales already adjusted for tare weight. That kind of thing is regulated in the US - who knows if they do it here.

Alexander McNabb said...

I suspect I know the answer to that one, Heidi...

Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

I am fairly sure "tare" is taken into account, as you may have an additional item added to tray, for which an additional bar code is printed!

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