Expired Food Complaints - Do Customers Think It’s Worth It?

by Andrew Hoeft | Sep 25, 2014 12:00:00 AM

When we talk with grocers, we often have a discussion about how much they are losing to shrink every year due to expired food.  Some can give you a general volume of how much ends up in the back room in a given month, and others can give you an exact dollar amount they lost last year.  While its great when grocers are tracking their finances down to that level, there is a category of expired products that get accounted for elsewhere in the finances: sales.  In reality, if you are finding expired products on your shelf, customers are too, and some of them are purchasing it.

Let’s think about what happens after someone gets an item home and realizes it’s expired.  If they were going to bring it back right away, they have to finish putting away their groceries (assuming this is when they see the date), and then locate the receipt for the item.  They have to get in the car, drive back to the store, potentially wait in line at the service counter, walk the aisles to get another item that isn’t expired, and then go through some form of checkout process again in order to get that replacement, before again getting in their car to drive home.  Now, if the item was an expensive container of baby formula, maybe that trip is worth it.  Maybe it is worth waitingin line for at the service counter the next time that customer comes to the store.  However, a lot of items in a grocery store are not that expensive and therefore not worth the hassle to many customers.  Ask yourself, would you go through all of that effort just to get a $2.00 item replaced?  To me, my time is worth more than that, and a lot of customers are going to feel the same way.

In the end, without a system like Date Check Pro in place to help minimize shrink from expired products, this situation is going to happen, and you might never know about it.  Some customers will stay loyal to you and continue to shop at your store.  Others might decide that they want to shop somewhere else where they feel that they will not accidentally purchase expired items.  Either way, this area is something to consider when evaluating the cost of Date Check Pro.  It might not be a hard dollar amount that you have been able to track, but happy customers will always help to improve your bottom line.

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The Product Expiration Blind Spot

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