Shopping Discussion

Loblaws whole turkey pricing....

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 8th, 2021 7:53 am
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 21, 2009
6 posts
2 upvotes
Ottawa

Loblaws whole turkey pricing....

I've noticed that over the last few years Loblaws ( in my case No Frills) has been selling their utility turkeys at a fixed price per bird.
So they have 3 weight ranges, the one I buy is the 3-5 Kg range selling at, for the sake of argument, for $15.00 each.
Aside from the smaller birds being left to collect freezer burn, and wasted I would think that meat should always be sold by weight.
I know some produce is sold by the unit , like a broccoli bunch for $1.99 each but I have always thought there was a law for higher value foodstuffs. Apparently not.
I won't play their game and buy this particular item at grocers that sell by the pound.
Anyone else have an opinion or info on the Weights and Measures Act?
Or more to the point, does anyone think Loblaws might be breaking a law or at least twisting a loophole to their advantage?
23 replies
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
18407 posts
15933 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Who cares ?

Trick to buying a Turkey @ Loblaws Group for Thanksgiving or Christmas is to do so when they have their PCO Points Back Promo on Turkey …
That makes it much cheaper than anywhere else

Unfortunately for anyone buying now …

They’ve already missed the promo
pc-optimum-discussion-thread-2021-24368 ... #p35045386

PC or Butterball Frozen Turkey

3 to 5 Kg = $ 22 … 6,000 PCO Points Back (value = $ 6 )
5 to 7 Kg = $ 30 … 8,000 PCO Points Back (value = $ 8 )
7 to 9 Kg = $ 40 … 12,000 PCO Points Back (value = $ 12 )
9 to 11 Kg = $ 50 … 15,000 PCO Points Back (value = $ 15 )

DELAY / SAVE a PCO Poultry Offer … and it STACKS too for even more savings

CC = @rdiamond1

As to breaking the law … they aren’t tampering with weights & measures
It’s a case of them deciding how they want to price an item
They can sell any non regulated item … for however much they choose
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Jan 3, 2014
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strawboss wrote: I've noticed that over the last few years Loblaws ( in my case No Frills) has been selling their utility turkeys at a fixed price per bird.
Or more to the point, does anyone think Loblaws might be breaking a law or at least twisting a loophole to their advantage?
Nothing wrong with it. Saves labeling and also helps avoid people swapping labels.

If you don't like it, don't buy from there.

Personally, I don't mind the by weight, but really...you're paying for stuff you'll be throwing out as well. Does the by weight or by piece price work out to be roughly the same?
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Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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ALLCAPS wrote: Nothing wrong with it. Saves labeling and also helps avoid people swapping labels.

If you don't like it, don't buy from there.

Personally, I don't mind the by weight, but really...you're paying for stuff you'll be throwing out as well. Does the by weight or by piece price work out to be roughly the same?
Frozen Turkeys tend to be running between $ 1.67 to $ 2.49 / lb
Butterball Turkeys tend to be at the higher end
It’s the frozen brand of choice that most Retailers carry

Loblaws Group prices for those Turkeys are within the norm
But as I said, a better deal if one bought one on the Annual Turkey PCO Points Back Event !
Deal Addict
Dec 26, 2009
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Just don't buy there if that's how you think.

I like it - Freshco (I know that is not Loblaw banner) currently has 5-7kg Butterball turkeys for $22.
- If the turkey you pick is 5kg, the price is around $1.99/lb., which is the typical Butterball sale price for stores that sell by the pound.
- If the turkey you pick is 7kg, the price is around $1.43/lb, which is the cheapest Butterball price I've seen this year.
Last edited by RubberCheese on Oct 6th, 2021 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dec 3, 2009
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No, I don't think the retailer is giving themselves an advantage over consumers selling turkeys at a fixed price.
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Apr 16, 2008
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Doesn’t Walmart do this for all of their meat? I don’t remember the last time looking at Walmart meat, but the last time a package of chicken breast was a set price, say $10, even though they had weights on the package.

I don’t mind the set price for a range or turkeys. Many other places have it by the kg if you prefer.
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
10816 posts
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Markham
Isn't it actually clever? Like you don't need have one or two employees to weigh, print labels and stick it. Those employees can do something else. Still need people but way faster
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
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I noticed this at RCS in the current week's flyer.
Tyler18 wrote: Doesn’t Walmart do this for all of their meat? I don’t remember the last time looking at Walmart meat, but the last time a package of chicken breast was a set price, say $10, even though they had weights on the package.
WM has been selling whole turkeys and chicken parts at fixed prices for a few years now. Not sure about other meats as it is far from my regular stop.
I don’t mind the set price for a range or turkeys. Many other places have it by the kg if you prefer.
I always go for the heaviest in the price range which can be advantageous, so can by weight if you find mistakes.
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
Deal Fanatic
Dec 26, 2014
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Seems most retailers are moving to fixed-price these days, and hilariously the fixed-price seems to be the same everywhere (so maybe it's being driven by the turkey industry?). Pretty sure RCSS and Save-On had the exact same price points and weight ranges for turkeys this week, almost unheard of to see that happen.
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Nov 12, 2006
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strawboss wrote: I've noticed that over the last few years Loblaws ( in my case No Frills) has been selling their utility turkeys at a fixed price per bird.
So they have 3 weight ranges, the one I buy is the 3-5 Kg range selling at, for the sake of argument, for $15.00 each.
Aside from the smaller birds being left to collect freezer burn, and wasted I would think that meat should always be sold by weight.
I don't like this practice, and it is becoming more common. (not just for utility either)
I'm surprised some like it.
Imagine it was any other meat, such as roasts, steaks, ground beef.
There is another thread here about a sale on rib roast.
Imagine if the same was done there.
Why is turkey different?

Sometimes things like steaks, sausages, ground beef are sold at a fixed price/package.
However, they are packaged to be close to equal weight.
Turkeys are not.

I really don't buy the labour costs to price and label argument.
Like the other items mentioned, they do so with those and it is just a minor cost of business.
It can be done very quickly, and I can't see much saved by skipping it.

If anything, it saves re-labelling if the price/weight is changed to keep up with competitors.
There are ways around that though.
Just label the weight, and a master sign for price/weight.
Post a conversion chart for the math challenged.

The cynic in me thinks it is just a way to keep the consumer confused and ultimately charge more.
Past practice made competition tight and price matches easy.
Like milk, everybody sold at the same price to the penny.
Now they can just shake up the weight categories and escape that.

As for legality, I can't see it being illegal in any way, as long as accurate and stated up front.
If a turkey is inaccurately weighed, and sold at the price of the higher bracket, then it is an issue.
Deal Addict
Jan 29, 2017
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Turkeys at times of major Holidays are often sold as loss leaders. This year inflation seems to be creeping in too as I didn't noticed any .99$/lb deals for plain utility. Walmart and RCSS used to sell those 3-5kg birds for $12 now $15.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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arisk wrote: I don't like this practice, and it is becoming more common. (not just for utility either)
I'm surprised some like it.
Imagine it was any other meat, such as roasts, steaks, ground beef.
There is another thread here about a sale on rib roast.
Imagine if the same was done there.
Why is turkey different?

Sometimes things like steaks, sausages, ground beef are sold at a fixed price/package.
However, they are packaged to be close to equal weight.
Turkeys are not.

I really don't buy the labour costs to price and label argument.
Like the other items mentioned, they do so with those and it is just a minor cost of business.
It can be done very quickly, and I can't see much saved by skipping it.

# 1
If anything, it saves re-labelling if the price/weight is changed to keep up with competitors.
There are ways around that though.
Just label the weight, and a master sign for price/weight.
Post a conversion chart for the math challenged.

# 2
The cynic in me thinks it is just a way to keep the consumer confused and ultimately charge more.
Past practice made competition tight and price matches easy.

Like milk, everybody sold at the same price to the penny.
Now they can just shake up the weight categories and escape that.

As for legality, I can't see it being illegal in any way, as long as accurate and stated up front.
If a turkey is inaccurately weighed, and sold at the price of the higher bracket, then it is an issue.
Good post

But a few things stand out … are highlighted & I have added in numbers

Point # 1 …
Ya that would never work
You know people are not gonna look up how much the 12.2 vs 12.7 Kg Turkey is
It’s either gotta be on the sticker … as it conventionally has been
Price per Kg / Price per Lb
So the 12.2 Turkey = $ 24.28
And the
12.7 Turkey = $ 25.27

Point # 2 …
Could be … some would argue that like the OP
But I too think there is a reason we are seeing this on Turkeys

It’s because of how they are priced
Plus how the Consumer tends to buy them

Others have already covered the convenience argument
That to change the price stickers is labour intensive should there suddenly become a price war between Grocery Chains
(has happened before … be it around Thanksgiving or Christmas )
You sticker them all on Monday @ $ 1.99 a lb
And by Thursday … suddenly you need to resticker them @ $ 1.69 a lb
That’s labour intensive
When every dang Turkeys weight is different
And as a store you are sitting on 100 - 200+ turkeys

Second, I think it boils down to how people buy turkeys
(I have seriously thought about this based on my own habits … and what I see others do )

There appears to be 3 types of people … and their thought process

1- Folks who say … I want a small Turkey
So they approach the display specifically looking for the smallest birds
Their focus seems to be less on specifics like cost & weight
So that 12.2 and 12.7 bird … both classify as SMALL for them

2- Folks who say … I want a bird around x weight
I am guessing they pick this weight based on past purchases
Or how recipes recommend so much Turkey meat per person
Or how long a recipe says it takes a Turkey … x minutes / lb
In this group of Consumers … they are far more focussed on the number of people they are having over for the meal, and their time
They are very focussed on weight

3- Folks who say … I want a bird that costs no more than $ X
(Let’s say $ 25 … as a point of reference )
These folks are extremely price conscious
They seemingly care less about how big the bird is or what it weighs
Or how long it will take to cook
Their objective is all about the budget
So there’s a considerable difference for them found in that 12.2 bird vs 12.7 bird
Although just $ 1 apart in price
Cuz the larger one is over $ 25
If the bird in the end they buy is on the smallish side … for the amount of people they need to feed
I imagine their strategy is to fill up everyone at the table on other eats
Like potatoes, veggies, bread, stuffing etc
That all works out considerably cheaper than $ 1.99 / lb

So … by setting a price per bird range as Loblaws has done
They’ve kind of smartly met all 3 consumers needs

Cuz based on each Consumers way of buying Turkey … they can very quickly determine which display they should be heading to
Be it for a Small, Medium, Large, or XLarge Turkey
The weight is marked on each bird … just not necessarily the price.
But if I recall correctly, the tags are colour coded to correspond to whichever price category (S - M - L - XL)
So each Consumer still gets all the info they need to buy the Turkey they are looking for / fits their needs

And if a price war should ensue … then Loblaws just announces / changes the display signage to
Small Turkeys are now $ W
Medium Turkeys are now $ X
Large Turkeys are now $ Y
And XLarge Turkeys are now $ Z

Seems to me … it works for everyone … including the Retailer

EDIT / ADD … for the record as strategic shoppers we are a blend of all 3.
I know ahead of time what general size of Turkey I want
And what my recipe calls for… meat per guest + prized leftovers for next day lunch + some for Homemade Turkey soup
But ya I have a budget too … so that comes into play as well. No more than $ X
Lol… but I also do the math … so I am certain that I hit the mark of $ 1.99 or lower if I buy a Turkey from Loblaws and their new category system
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2006
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London
PointsHubby wrote: Good post

But a few things stand out … are highlighted & I have added in numbers

Point # 1 …
Ya that would never work
You know people are not gonna look up how much the 12.2 vs 12.7 Kg Turkey is
It’s either gotta be on the sticker … as it conventionally has been
Price per Kg / Price per Lb
So the 12.2 Turkey = $ 24.28
And the
12.7 Turkey = $ 25.27

Point # 2 …
Could be … some would argue that like the OP
But I too think there is a reason we are seeing this on Turkeys

It’s because of how they are priced
Plus how the Consumer tends to buy them

Others have already covered the convenience argument
That to change the price stickers is labour intensive should there suddenly become a price war between Grocery Chains
(has happened before … be it around Thanksgiving or Christmas )
You sticker them all on Monday @ $ 1.99 a lb
And by Thursday … suddenly you need to resticker them @ $ 1.69 a lb
That’s labour intensive
When every dang Turkeys weight is different
And as a store you are sitting on 100 - 200+ turkeys

Second, I think it boils down to how people buy turkeys
(I have seriously thought about this based on my own habits … and what I see others do )

There appears to be 3 types of people … and their thought process

1- Folks who say … I want a small Turkey
So they approach the display specifically looking for the smallest birds
Their focus seems to be less on specifics like cost & weight
So that 12.2 and 12.7 bird … both classify as SMALL for them

2- Folks who say … I want a bird around x weight
I am guessing they pick this weight based on past purchases
Or how recipes recommend so much Turkey meat per person
Or how long a recipe says it takes a Turkey … x minutes / lb
In this group of Consumers … they are far more focussed on the number of people they are having over for the meal, and their time
They are very focussed on weight

3- Folks who say … I want a bird that costs no more than $ X
(Let’s say $ 25 … as a point of reference )
These folks are extremely price conscious
They seemingly care less about how big the bird is or what it weighs
Or how long it will take to cook
Their objective is all about the budget
So there’s a considerable difference for them found in that 12.2 bird vs 12.7 bird
Although just $ 1 apart in price
Cuz the larger one is over $ 25
If the bird in the end they buy is on the smallish side … for the amount of people they need to feed
I imagine their strategy is to fill up everyone at the table on other eats
Like potatoes, veggies, bread, stuffing etc
That all works out considerably cheaper than $ 1.99 / lb

So … by setting a price per bird range as Loblaws has done
They’ve kind of smartly met all 3 consumers needs

Cuz based on each Consumers way of buying Turkey … they can very quickly determine which display they should be heading to
Be it for a Small, Medium, Large, or XLarge Turkey
The weight is marked on each bird … just not necessarily the price.
But if I recall correctly, the tags are colour coded to correspond to whichever price category (S - M - L - XL)
So each Consumer still gets all the info they need to buy the Turkey they are looking for / fits their needs

And if a price war should ensue … then Loblaws just announces / changes the display signage to
Small Turkeys are now $ W
Medium Turkeys are now $ X
Large Turkeys are now $ Y
And XLarge Turkeys are now $ Z

Seems to me … it works for everyone … including the Retailer

EDIT / ADD … for the record as strategic shoppers we are a blend of all 3.
I know ahead of time what general size of Turkey I want
And what my recipe calls for… meat per guest + prized leftovers for next day lunch + some for Homemade Turkey soup
But ya I have a budget too … so that comes into play as well. No more than $ X
Lol… but I also do the math … so I am certain that I hit the mark of $ 1.99 or lower if I buy a Turkey from Loblaws and their new category system
Interesting to see another perspective, and yours is always reasonable.

As far as looking up a price on a chart, that was more of a suggested helper.
People buy bulk apples or brussel sprouts without it, so surely with a little extra help (chart), they could cope.
The other option is not to buy the turkey, which is pretty much what the new system is anyways.
It's lump it or leave it.

Your example of a "price war" is exactly what I was considering.
My only tagging the weight, there is the ability to respond quickly.

I get the categories you refer to.
I'd be in category 2.
It's less about a recipe, but just experience says a bird of X size is going to feed Y people and enough manageable leftovers.
If pricing gets stupid (and maybe this year it is), category 3 may influence it a bit.

I'd suggest people pick out a rib roast the same.
How would people like a system where the big ones sell first at a cheaper per weight price?

What I resent, and the OP talked about, is paying a different price/weight depending on factors you may not be able to control.
A real world example is that I see in one flyer this week, 5-7kg for $22.
You then pay anywhere from $1.43 - $2.00 per pound.
Typically the larger ones are chosen first, so what probably is left is $2.00.
How diligent is the restocking?
Are you "forced" to pick a smaller, more expensive bird because they are not restocked quickly, if at all?
Would that be by design, to purge out the smaller, more profitable ones?

Do they actually even have any 7kg birds, or one token one and the rest are under 5.5kg?
They only assign categories and don't promise stock.
The category implies the potential of $1.43 birds and that is advertised, but played right the real pricing is $2.00.
That delves into the OP's concern a bit more, regarding grey area legality.
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Oct 22, 2007
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RubberCheese wrote: Just don't buy there if that's how you think.

I like it - Freshco (I know that is not Loblaw banner) currently has 5-7kg Butterball turkeys for $22.
- If the turkey you pick is 5kg, the price is around $1.99/lb., which is the typical Butterball sale price for stores that sell by the pound.
- If the turkey you pick is 7kg, the price is around $1.43/lb, which is the cheapest Butterball price I've seen this year.
I've seen someone post on Reddit about the Freshco turkeys being under 5kg, and the staff there just shrugged when confronted about it.
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Feb 7, 2017
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Ottomaddox wrote: I've seen someone post on Reddit about the Freshco turkeys being under 5kg, and the staff there just shrugged when confronted about it.
If it’s anything like Loblaws & group sized pricing

Then it’s 3 to 5 Kgs (SMALL )
And 5 to 7 Kgs (MEDIUM )

If the bird is < 5 … it’s a SMALL

I think if it’s 5.00 or more … it ends up in MEDIUM

Or … are you saying that something UNDER 5.00 was grouped as MEDIUM ?

And if so … however did the Customer know that it was say 4.90 Kgs vs 5.00 Kgs ?
I mean personally … I am not one to weigh the meat at the Grocery Store
And wouldn’t even do it back home
I tend to figure / trust that the weight marked is accurate
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Oct 22, 2007
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PointsHubby wrote:
Or … are you saying that something UNDER 5.00 was grouped as MEDIUM ?

https://old.reddit.com/r/londonontario/ ... t_freshco/
Underweight turkeys at Freshco was in the store on commissionaire and wellington today. To get the advertised Butterball turkeys. 5-7kg for $22.. They looked like fat chickens, so had 2 weighed one was 3.7kg and other was 4.8 kg. Manger advised me not his concern, and I could comeback later and see if they had bigger ones.

What to do? you buy gas at the station and its regulated to be a liter. This like false advertising.

I imagine a lot of people have walked out the store thinking they got a fair deal
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Sep 3, 2006
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Turkeys are loss leaders anyhow. Walmart does the same thing.
Don't like the thread? Hide it or report it. Don't incessantly complain about it in the thread, please.
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Jan 2, 2015
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PointsHubby wrote: If it’s anything like Loblaws & group sized pricing

Then it’s 3 to 5 Kgs (SMALL )
And 5 to 7 Kgs (MEDIUM )

If the bird is < 5 … it’s a SMALL

I think if it’s 5.00 or more … it ends up in MEDIUM

Or … are you saying that something UNDER 5.00 was grouped as MEDIUM ?

And if so … however did the Customer know that it was say 4.90 Kgs vs 5.00 Kgs ?
I mean personally … I am not one to weigh the meat at the Grocery Store
And wouldn’t even do it back home
I tend to figure / trust that the weight marked is accurate
I won't lie, this way of pricing from the bird did bother me a bit last turkey event. At 3 of the stores I checked, the seemed to have the smalls really small all just in the 3 to barely 4 kg range, there were tons at 5.XX kg being sold for the medium price, non at just under 7 kg, then tons at 7.XX kg sold as the next price, but none at the higher end... etc. I checked several stores, some very early into the sale and this was pretty consistent. They seemed to get as many turkeys at the lowest weight in the range for that price. I knew this, as they had the weight on every label.

I ended up not buying the turkey, getting a prime rib on sale, cooking that on holiday. Then the turkeys went on clearance a couple of days later elsewhere, so I picked up a 14 lb one for $7.

I do see the point in the pricing, I just felt that the store was taking advantage by only offering turkeys on the lowest weight point.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it bothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
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Jun 8, 2004
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PointsHubby wrote: Who cares ?

Trick to buying a Turkey @ Loblaws Group for Thanksgiving or Christmas is to do so when they have their PCO Points Back Promo on Turkey …
That makes it much cheaper than anywhere else

Unfortunately for anyone buying now …

They’ve already missed the promo
pc-optimum-discussion-thread-2021-24368 ... #p35045386

PC or Butterball Frozen Turkey

3 to 5 Kg = $ 22 … 6,000 PCO Points Back (value = $ 6 )
5 to 7 Kg = $ 30 … 8,000 PCO Points Back (value = $ 8 )
7 to 9 Kg = $ 40 … 12,000 PCO Points Back (value = $ 12 )
9 to 11 Kg = $ 50 … 15,000 PCO Points Back (value = $ 15 )

DELAY / SAVE a PCO Poultry Offer … and it STACKS too for even more savings

CC = @rdiamond1

As to breaking the law … they aren’t tampering with weights & measures
It’s a case of them deciding how they want to price an item
They can sell any non regulated item … for however much they choose
The 5-7kg Butterball is $22.00 at FreshCo (ON) this week, which is the same price as $30 + $6 PCO points deal, except you don't have to prepay the $6 in PCO points. So, folks didn't necessarily miss the deal if they wanted a medium bird. RCSS East stores will price match FreshCo (ON) price, provided you have one in your region.

Walmart (ON) is selling fresh turkeys at $3.90/kg. RCSS East stores will price match Walmart (ON) price.

I just PM'd a fresh turkey at the RCSS Oakville. You go to the butcher counter with the turkey and show them the Walmart ad and they will give you a price adjustment slip to be scanned by the cashier or scanned at the self-serve checkout.

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