Azara Blog: Joan Ruddock does not like two-for-one offers

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Date published: 2008/04/24

The BBC says:

The government has criticised buy-one, get-one-free offers at supermarkets for increasing the amount of food thrown away by British shoppers.

Environment minister Joan Ruddock told MPs the deals were "deeply unhelpful" and half-price offers were preferable.

She also criticised the culture of "fast fashion", where cheap clothes are treated as disposable.

A third of all food bought in the UK is estimated to be thrown away - about six million tonnes a year.

Does Ruddock have any evidence that "buy-one get-one-free" offers contribute in any significant way to the waste of food? And needless to say, even if you want to make this argument, it is not just the quantity of items, but how much there is in each item, that counts. So 2-for-1 on a 200 gram pack is the same as 1/2-for-1 on a 400 gram pack. In any case, most consumers probably find buying two items to be convenient enough (but evidently not the puritanical academic middle class people who run England). And most of these offers are either on (relatively) non-perishable items (e.g. tinned food) or on items that can be frozen (e.g. meat).

And does Ruddock have any evidence that there is a signficant "culture" of "fast fashion"? Or is this just yet another trivial issue that the puritanical academic middle class people who run England have decided to get hysterical about?

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