It is usual for product companies to raise their prices.  If they can, they will.  But I’ve noticed in Norway several ways in which companies get people to buy more, sometimes without even knowing it.

When a product is going to change price in Norway there is usually a ‘face lift’ that happens first.  Right before the face lift the product goes on sale, most often half price.  If there is a half price sale people usually buy up big.  Six months ago the Coop juice was changing package design and there was a 60% off sale (at least in Tromsø).  Of course, just like the Norwegians, we bought up big and just opened our last juice carton today.

However, even though a product gets a new look, what the product companies don’t advertise is that the item will also be getting a price rise.  The biggest trick that companies play on their consumers is resizing for the same price.  Recently my favourite chips from Maarud (Salt and Vinegar) had a new package design, however, the price didn’t go up.  Very curious, until I looked at the weight.  Instead of housing 200g of chips the new package only housed 180g.  (VG, a national newspaper, had an article this week that the chip company has raised their prices 50% per kilo.  Maarud said that they needed to put less chips in the packs so they wouldn’t crumble from the weight.  Hm?  Do we believe them?)  One of my biggest disappointments was when I discovered (last night) that a favourite chocolate bar, Kvikklunsj, has gone up 50% over night.  A four pack of kvikklunsj was around kr.24.  This pack has been replaced by a six pack that costs around kr.46!  Nearly double the price for only 50% more.

It is evident that Norwegian producers rely on Norwegians to be creatures of habit – picking up their favorite item over and over again without checking the price, weight or size.  I certainly have also been a victim of this conspiracy, not because I haven’t known about the rise in price but that the product I want is the only one being sold any where in the entire city (like maple syrup for example) so I have to buy it.  I think I need to think more like a Norwegian before this thing drives me crazy.  What bliss it would be to think ‘there is no use fighting it, everyone else is in the same boat’. 

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