Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A funny scaleup

Today, I felt like having Bourbon biscuits along with tea in the afternoon. Four of us, Arun, Abhijit, Jalesh and myself bought tea and a pack of Britannia Bourbon. Britannia have come up with a new mini-pack of Bourbon biscuits, which is priced at Rs.5 and contains 4 biscuits. This pack wasn't available with the canteen vendor, so we had to buy the bigger pack that is priced at Rs. 10. I reasoned that since the mini-pack has four biscuits, this pack would have eight biscuits, thus giving each of us two pieces to relish. But lo! after the first round of four biscuits, we realised that the pack had only three more left. So, the pack we bought had only seven biscuits.

This puzzled us and bamboozled us. I mean, a pack of Rs.5 has four biscuits, while a pack of Rs. 10 has seven! If those mini-packs were available in the canteen, nobody would buy the normal pack. I can buy two mini-packs and have eight biscuits. This is a funny situation. I do not know how many people have thought about this. Does Britannia itself realise the situation. Now that this is in public domain, smart people would resort buying the mini-packs, thus pushing down the sale of regular packs. Bulk buyers would of course buy it on a per kilo basis, but then picnickers, casual eaters, impulse buyers would now (possibly) change their strategy. This actually leaves no incentive to buy the bigger pack. Normally, a pack selling a larger quantity in one go is priced at a little less than twice the cost of a pack selling half the quantity. For e.g. if a 100gm toothpaste costs Rs. 20, but a 200gm toothpaste will cost Rs. 38 (something less than Rs. 40). But this is one of the funniest scale-up I have ever seen.
A funny scaleupSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


  1. probably it was a manufacturing defect...did you buy more 10 and 5 rupee packets to test your theory????

  2. kaushik,

    About the Rs. 10 pack, I had bought one a couple of months back and it too had seven biscuits. We had previously bought a few Rs. 5 packs and each had 4 biscuits only. Except, the Rs. 5 packs were bought later.

    And if you ask me didn't I realise this then, well, I hadn't thought too much about it till yesterday's incident. Also, a huge time gap between the earlier instance of buying the regular pack and the instance of buying the mini-packs

  3. It is not a manufacturer defect. It is a marketing strategy/practice. I don't know what kind of practice it is?

    Recently I've noticed this in many items in D-MART (in tea, sugar, juice etc.). The funny thing was, I wanted to buy some thing at a cost of Rs 45/- per piece and Rs 100/- per 2 pieces.

    This practice is very old started long back through small shampoo sachets and hair oil packs (Cost of 10 X 10 ml shampoo sachets is less than 1X 100 ml shampoo packs).

  4. @aamjunta

    Once people realise this gimmick, there should be no incentive left to buy large packs at one go. Like, I can buy 10 sachets of shampoo and empty those into a 100ml plastic bottle and use it. I have to invest in the bottle only once and can be done with the money saved by buying those 10 sachets rather than the 100ml bottle. So, if this funny scale is being practised for long, it is just because people don't seem to realise that.

    No wonder, Sherlock Holmes said, "It is there for everybody to see, but for a few to observe." Now I hope more and more people observe this and pay back the companies that practice this gimmick. As you say, aamjunta it is in your hands to turn the tide.