Special Deals at Whole Foods

January 5, 2012 BY danariely

Jared Wolfe, one of the students working with me, took the following pictures at Whole Foods a few days ago.  They illustrate amazing creativity in defining what the term “a deal” means.

1) Regular price is $1.99 and the Sale price is?   Two of the same item for $5 — which according to Whole Foods’ quick calculation is a savings of $1.02.  Amazing.

2) Regular price is $3.99 and the Sale price is?  $3.99 — thankfully this time they did not add any amount to the savings.

What I am wondering is how many people just look for the orange tags and the Sale signs without even looking at the details.  I suspect that this is very common, particularly in a busy and hectic grocery store and particularly when we buy many items that each of them by itself is not very expensive.