Special Report: Specialized pricing for food

Special Report: Specialized pricing for food

A new trend is growing at grocery stores to help consumers save money.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Linda Darragh likes saving money on her groceries. But doesn't have the time to go through coupons.

"I'm not one to pick up store circulars," said Darragh.

Instead, she picks up a personal grocery scanner. As she loads her cart, it shows custom discounts tailored just for her.

"If I can get a bargain, I certainly appreciate getting the bargain," said Darragh.

Darragh's new habits is part of a new trend called personalized pricing. Supermarket expert Phil Lempert says a growing number of national grocery chains are testing the idea.

"I might pay a dollar for something and you might be paying $1.79," said Lempert.

He also says pricing is determined based on info gathered from the customer's loyalty card.

"Your zip code, what you've bought before, how often you buy certain product," said Lempert.

But there are privacy issues.

"For some people, it's a bit intrusive," said Lempert.

Grocery managers say shoppers are free to opt out.

"We do not disclose any of that information, your name address, or phone number, unless we have permission from you. It's only used for when we have product recalls, which is very important," said Stop and Shop manager Arlene Putterman.

Linda feels her special savings are worth every penny.

"I'm really surprised on some days when I see that I've saved $15, $20, $30, and that's important," said Darragh.

Lempert also says grocery stores are experimenting with flash sales; meaning they'll offer a product at a deep discount for a limited amount of time.
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