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  • Writer's pictureJames Cullen

The Death of Buy-One-Get-One-Free: The Evolution of the Deal

Before I start, I'll ask you a question. A question that will cause you to stop what you are doing and really think, to search the realms of memory for the answer: when was the last time you saw a buy-one-get-one-free deal?

The answer will be around 2014. At one point, 79% of consumers cited the offer as the one they paid most attention to. But due to growing concerns of food wastage (passed onto the consumer rather than the supermarket - 42% of food wastage caused by consumers compared to 5% from retailers) led to the promotion been ousted in favour of other deals. 222 million tonnes of food are wasted each year, and 710,000 is redistributed through either charity or given as animal feed. Cutting the BOGOF deal seemed the smartest move, publicity-wise. Corporate social responsibility is incredibly important and by committing, in a roundabout way, to curbing food wastage, retailers can positively enforce this.

From a consumer standpoint, BOGOF deals weren't actually doing them any favours. Consumers were thought to have been spending an extra £1,274 a year due to buying unnecessarily through the deal. Retailers admitted to increasing prices just to sell an offer as BOGOF. It's a simple confidence trick. The same way a man may sit on the street with three shells hiding a token under one of them and use sleight of hand to mix them up, supermarkets dazzled with quantity to distract from the price not resulting in value for money.

This opens the floor in general for the deals supermarkets push actually not being best for the consumer. Though, why anyone would expect the retailer to be trying to benefit the consumer over profit is another can of worms in its own right. Consumers are getting savvier - and supermarkets are catching up too. The technique for monitoring price compared to the weight of the product becomes difficult when the weight is eschewed for price-per-item, for example. While best practices will continue to advance in terms of consumers getting the best deal (and retailers making the most money).

What do you think? Are you sad you won't hear Jeff Brown shout 'you buy one you get one free, I said you buy one you get one free' for Safestyle UK again? (Though that could actually be for other reasons)

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