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Non-Linear Pricing of food ... how a trip to the petrol station is killing us

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Video Transcript

Why a trip to the petrol station might be slowly killing us.

So we constantly are talking about the obesity problem, about people with diabetes, governments worry about it, politicians, policy makers, everyone is talking about it. And it is costing the government and our tax payers, so that is us, a phenomenal amount of money, it is the big problem and I saw a brilliant example of this the other day.

Now I was in a petrol station and when you go to the petrol station, you know the one thing is that you are confronted with a massive amount of chocolate. And it turned out that day that not unreasonably I fancied some Maltesers.

So I looked at a packet of Maltesers and I discovered that these were $3.60. Now I think this is 60gm of Maltesers. I am about to pay for them and out of the corner of my eye, I notice that actually rather than 60gm I could get this packet, not for $3.60 but this was $5.00. And this is 140gm.

So that is twice as much but it is not twice the amount of money. I looked again and I found that in fact there is a giant packet, so this is now 250gm, so that is 4 times this box amount of chocolate. Apparently this is more to share but this was only $5.50.

So we went from $3.60 to $5.00 to $5.50.

Now, the economics of a family would say buy this. We are all after value, we would buy this, but from a government perspective, from a society perspective, we need people to buy this.

It is not about saying you can’t have chocolate anymore It is about saying you need to eat less and I don’t understand how we are in a position Where policy makers are not ruling on this, and making judgments about how to deal with this. Because I can tell you if you are an individual you are faced with companies that employ thousands of people and spend millions upon millions of dollars developing strategies to get you to buy not this, but this. And this idea of what we call non-linear pricing . In other words the price of an object should go up and yet the more you get the more you pay.

But when it comes to food non-linear pricing, “20% free - Buy a bigger bar” is what is killing us and destroying our population and costing us billions, billions.

And it is something that we can legislate for, and we need to.