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Why isn’t that ‘free’ supermarket turkey really free?


As we get closer to Thanksgiving, Americans naturally think a lot about turkey, such as how it can be prepared or what can be served alongside it.

But here are some things they can do more: Free Turkey.

This is the time of year when many food retailers come up with an offer for consumers to score a bird at no cost, but of course they spend a certain amount. Contracts vary in their terms: BJ’s BJ,
-3.23%,
The wholesale club requires a $ 100 purchase, while the supermarket chain, ShopRite, sets the bar at $ 400, but allows shoppers to replace a ham or other item for the turkey.

Some retailers and marketing experts say promotions have reached a fever pitch this year as turkey prices have risen, to their highest point in decades, with a 15-pound bird running around 21 21. In other words, food retailers know that a free turkey is a more powerful tool than ever before to entice buyers.

The idea is, ‘If I can get you to my store, I’m probably going to put you through Super Bowl Sunday.’


– Phil Lampert, editor of SupermarketGuru.com

For that matter, it’s not just supermarkets playing free-turkey games. Even cell phone companies are doing this. Boost Mobile, which is owned by Dish Dish,
-2.13%,
In recent years a turkey has been gifted to selected cities A spokesman for Boost Mobile noted that there was no need to purchase promotions, but added: “You don’t have to do anything, Boost is just giving back.”

Related: Hold on to wine: 1 in 4 people do not buy alcohol for Thanksgiving because inflation: survey

Related: Meet Peanut Butter and Jelly, Thanksgiving Turkey that President Biden ‘Forgives’

Shoppers prefer supermarket deals in any case. Retired Jeff Diorgio, who lives in Logan, Utah, was so excited about the offer at a local store – which required a 100 purchase – that he said he shared a 260 grocery bill with a family member so he could score two birds. Also, he got a turkey at a lower price through another supermarket offer.

“I like turkey sandwiches,” said Diorgio, although he added that he plans to give one of his three birds to a needy family.

Yet, for all intents and purposes, some who know the shopping scene say that it is important to remember that there is no such thing as free lunch – or free turkey.

They note that retailers use free-turkey promotions as a leader in losses – meaning they expect customers who enter their stores to purchase adequate items at regular prices (or more) to compensate for the gift. Or they will return to shopping during and after the holidays based on the good feelings generated by Freebie.

“The idea is, ‘If I could let you come to my store, I’d probably put you on Super Bowl Sunday,'” said Phil Lampert, editor of Supermarket Guru.com, a website that covers grocery business.

Another strategy, says Florida-based marketing professional Craig Agranoff: Stores often strategically place high-margin items close to Turkey. Such offers “have a lot of psychology in marketing,” he said.

Consumer experts suggest that this means that buyers should be extra careful when it comes to claiming their free birds. In other words, don’t buy something that costs more or you don’t need to because you have to bag that bird to reach that dollar figure.

In fact, some buyers say they’re tired of playing free-turkey games, and aren’t bothered to score a bird this year. Among them is Count Maria Glass, a retiree who lives above New York.

Glass said he was done with “free madness” for earning turkey and “spending extra money on garbage”. His solution is this Thanksgiving? “We’re going to relatives,” he said.



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