Northeastern grocery chain Price Chopper is one of the few companies around that still sells a full half-gallon of ice cream. None of this 1.75 or 1.5 quart shrink-rayed nonsense that you find at their competition, but a proper half gallon. You can’t blame them for bragging about this in stores and in their advertising materials. But Scott discovered where all of this bragging falls apart: Extreme Moose Tracks, which has a slightly smaller container than other flavors. Harbinger of shrinkage to come? Not quite. When he contacted Price Chopper, they explained that there’s a little less ice cream in that flavor’s container because of the amount of candy included. Guess it’s too extreme.
Recently Price Chopper announced that it was dropping the price of its Central Market ice cream back to $2.99 per half gallon. In the flyer and on the door to the ice cream freezer, Price Chopper advertises that, “Central Market Classics Ice Cream is still a half gallon. The others are not! That’s Price Chopper value.”
This would be great except my favorite flavor, Extreme Moose Tracks is no longer at the half gallon size; it is 1.65L. A half gallon equals 1.89L.
I emailed Price Chopper and received the following email confirming that their advertising is false:
August 09, 2011
Thank you for your recent email. It is always helpful to hear our customers’ concerns, and to be given a chance to respond to them.
Your comments have been shared with our corporate brands team. The only variety of our Central Market ice cream that is not a half gallon is the Extreme Moose Tracks because of the amount of candy, nuts and chocolate in the product. In order to be able to price this variety the same as all the others the size had to be reduced. At this time all of the other varieties of Central Market ice cream are a full half gallon.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to address your concerns. It is our intent to provide excellence in all areas of service to our customers. Your patronage and your comments are very important to us. You can reach our customer service team at 1-800-666-7667 (option 3), 8:30 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Friday, and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday, or on our website at http://www.pricechopper.com.
So, what is a consumer to do when a company openly admits that they are false advertising?
What do you think? Is this false advertising, or just staying competitive while continuing to offer a popular flavor?