# target reality vortex Target Math Means You Pay Extra For Cardboard Box, Less Choice

The photo shows a single food pouch priced at \$1.39, and then a four-pack of the same size costs \$5.99. That’s a 44¢ surcharge.

Bulk buying is good. When you buy multiple food pouches that come in a single box, for example, it makes life easier for cashiers and maybe for you when you unload your groceries. That’s what Jared thought when he went to buy some baby food pouches at Target.

Then he noticed that, thanks to Target math, it costs more to buy a four-pack of just one flavor than to buy four individual packets, which can be different flavors. That’s just how things work once you’ve entered the magical land of Target.

Why is the pricing like this? Often this kind of confusing math involves temporary sale prices or deals involving gift cards with purchase. Maybe Target wants to move more single pouches in general. Maybe there is a big coupon for the four-pack in the Cartwheel app this week. Whatever Target’s actual logic might be, this doesn’t make obvious sense to consumers, and certainly doesn’t encourage them to buy more baby food pouches.

A few years ago, a Target employee tried to explain some of the retailer’s Reality Vortex policies to us, and that clarified some situations, but not ones like this.