The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

October 4, 2008

The Wages of Zinfandel, Revisited

Filed under: Food, shopping — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 11:56 pm

Longtime readers of this Blog (all three of you) might recall a post that I made about a year ago regarding some questionable use of Halloween themed decoration in the wine aisle at the neighborhood grocery store.  Fast forward a year, and sure enough, they’re at it again.

As was the case last year, the wine aisle has once again been dressed up for Halloween.  At least this year they seem to have mostly managed to avoid threatening their customers with eternal punishment for certain wine selections (who knew that pairing red wine with poultry could cost you your soul?) but this year, some of the selections on offer seem to be doing a pretty good job of scaring off the customers on their own.  After the jump, a look at some of this season’s finest wine selections from where angels dare not tread.



January 31, 2008

Fruity, But With Just a Hint of Whatever I Rolled In Down in the Yard Last Week

Filed under: Food — Tags: , , , — Brian Lutz @ 11:53 pm

Just in case you have had that little nagging sense of guilt over the fact that you aren’t spoiling your dogs enough lately, over at Neatorama today they link to something that should rectify that quite nicely.  The fine folks at Bark Vineyards have turned their attention to the four-legged members of our respective families, and have produced a variety of “Wines” intended for consumption by dogs and/or cats.  The term wine is used only loosely, as the product contains no actual wine, and in fact doesn’t involve grapes anywhere in the process of making the stuff.  With names like Sauvignon Bark, Meowlot and Pinot Leasheo, the ingredients for most of the “varietals” consist mainly of chicken or beef broth with a few dehydrated vegetables and things like that thrown in, and these concoctions are intended to be poured over your pet’s food as an added treat. 

The end result is probably a lot more palatable to a dog than a bottle of your finest Pinot Grigio would be, but it comes with a hefty price tag of more than $20 a bottle, which might be just a bit hard for most pet owners to swallow, especially for something that one could probably mix up in their kitchen without too much trouble if they were so inclined.  It appears that the product is being positioned more as something to be given as a gift rather than something one would serve to their own dogs, as evidenced by the assorted paraphernalia available to compliment the product itself.  On the other hand, if you’ve made the decision to become a food snob, why not take your pets along with you?  You might find it difficult to train them to be picky eaters such as yourself, but in the end you’ll have yet another feather in your proverbial cap the next time you need to belittle some pesky commoner.

December 10, 2007

Promotional Pricing Gone Awry

Filed under: Food, Random Stuff, shopping — Tags: , , — Brian Lutz @ 11:48 pm

A few weeks ago over at, there was a discussion about supermarket promotions, and the phenomenon of “nine-for-fourteen dollar sales” and other such promotions confused to sell items by confusing customers.  Around here, the most common form of this is probably the “10 for $10” sale, which is easy enough to figure out, but it isn’t uncommon to see some more convoluted versions like 3 for $7, or 4 for $11 on some items.  The theory behind this is that if you advertise something as being 3 for $5 (or something to that effect,) people will buy 3 of that item, rather than try to figure out the indivifual cost of each one, counting on the fact that people will assume that less than three of the item would be regular price.  This is rarely the case, and if it was, the sign would reflect this fact.  Since being single doesn’t makes stocking up on things impractical a lot of the time, I just buy however many I need and let the cash register figure it out for me, After all, isn’t that what the things were designed for?

 While doing some late-night shopping at the local QFC (one of the two local permutations of the Vast Kroger Empire found in the Seattle area) a couple of evenings ago, I came across what may be the most ridiculous example of this type of pricing that I’ve seen:


So let me get this straight.  If you buy 1 bottle of this stuff, you can get a $2 rebate by mail.  Buy 2 bottles, you can get $4 back, and so on.  Of course, how many people are going to go through the trouble of filling out the form, getting whatever proof of purchase is required off the bottle and sending the whole thing in just to get $2 back per bottle?

On the other hand, the fine folks at Gnarly Head provide a bonus incentive here.  For those who are willing to buy in bulk, you can get a $30 rebate from a dozen bottles, which is an amount someone might actually go through all that effort for.  Of course, to get that $30 back, that means you have to buy 12 bottles of the stuff all at once.  At the listed price of $10.99 a bottle, that means that you’re going to be spending $131.88 (plus tax), which to most people is a pretty significant chunk of change, not to mention the fact that unless you were planning on either a big party or a really wild bender, you’re going to have to store all of that stuff somewhere.  Of course, you can get $30 of that back in 4-6 weeks, but when all is said and done, you can either save $2 per bottle (if you’re willing to actually send in the rebate,) or you can spend a whole bunch of money on the stuff at once and save $2.50 per bottle, or a total of $6.  Seems like a whole lot of hassle, doesn’t it? 

I hope you all took notes, there will be a quiz on this later.  Oh, and by the way, you might want to be careful about that particular brand of wine, as it seems that drinking it apparently comes with a slight risk of eternal damnation

 (Note:  This is a crosspost from an item I originally posted at, with some additional comments added.)

October 7, 2007

The Wages of Zinfandel

Filed under: Random Stuff — Tags: , , — Brian Lutz @ 12:03 am

A handy tip for grocery store managers:  With the Fall season setting in, and Halloween fast approaching, it seems like a good time to do a bit of seasonally appropriate decoration.  Appropriate decorating can help set the mood for shoppers, and increase sales, but be careful with Halloween decorations , or you could find yourself sending the wrong message to your customers.  For example, something like this is a good setup:

On the other hand,  this bit of decoration just might be sending your customers the wrong message about the product:

And whatever you do, don’t ever do this:

I’ve heard of Demon Rum before, but  have to say this just might be a new one.

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