2 penny sausages

Asda, a UK supermarket chain (and a wholly owned division of Wal-Mart), spurred no doubt by recent news about scarily rising food prices, has launched an attention grabbing product: the 2 p sausage. You do have to buy it in packs of 8, but a pack is still just 16p. In US cents that’s about 4 cents a sausage.

The sausages have been reduced, from 56p per package of 8. Even at that price the thought of what might go into such a cheap sausage makes me shudder. At 2p per sausage, it makes my stomach take a queasy flop.

Surely there are better ways of eating frugally than stuffing yourself with lumps of dubious chopped up mystery meat? (I love a really good sausage, but bad sausages are a very different matter.) If you’re in the UK, have you tried the 2p sausages, or would you consider trying them?

Elsewhere in the world, you can have a $175 burger topped with gold leaf and foie gras, which may not even be that good. Something’s off kilter somewhere.

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3 Euro cents per sausage? I

3 Euro cents per sausage? I shudder when I think what goes in there. But then, I feel slightly uneasy at chicken or pork for just a few Euros per kilo, too. Considering how many people have to turn a profit at that, something is seriously out of whack. But on the other hand, even in the Western World, many people can’t afford meat (and other food) at higher prices. No idea how those two things can be brought together.

Rike | 3 June, 2008 - 16:06

I fully admit to being a

I fully admit to being a vegetarian, but that weirds me out seriously anyway. Unless they are just trying to play things in a cut-throat manner to lose money temporarily while weeding out competition, but still. It’s amazing how people will flock to low quality things. I work in a restaurant and I think every day, I have someone order a steak that costs…maybe $10.00, with all the sides included. That comes to us pre-frozen. Yick. If you want a steak, go to a steakhouse.

Katie | 3 June, 2008 - 16:49

On highly expensive food...

Don’t forget the $1000 sundae from Serendipity! I agree, something truly is wrong with this society.

Reiko | 3 June, 2008 - 16:52

EWWW!!!

I wouldn’t even risk TOUCHING one of those 2 p sausages, let alone eating one! Frankly, I’d rather eat my own hair — and there’s not much of it in the first place…

Deleilan | 3 June, 2008 - 17:21

It’s not necessarily that

It’s not necessarily that the sausages themselves cost 2p per piece. It might be just marketing strategy to attract customers into the store and have the shop for their other necessities there (because it’s usually not worth the time and hassle to shop groceries from seperate stores).

Just like how McDonalds sells Happy Meal at thinner margin (despite them being the same burgers) and have parents accompanying their children buy regular meals at higher margins. Or like Walmart US being well known to sell pampers the cheapest (even for well known branded products) but it sells other baby products with higher margins. Or even like early bird specials during Black Friday sale in US.

Surely either some people will appreciate the value or the product/promotion will be discontinued.

anon. | 3 June, 2008 - 18:58

Gross!

I’m reminded of this episode of the UK programme “You Are What You Eat” where Gillian McKeith grossed someone out by showing her that hot dogs contained pig snouts and ears.

Jeffrey | 3 June, 2008 - 21:22

When I read about something

When I read about something like 2p sausage, all I can think about are the poor farmers/meat producers that are being undercut to sell such a thing. Most individual farmers can barely scrape together a living (making about $40K US a year if lucky) which is why the corporate farms (with their nasty practices, lack of care, etc etc) have become so dominant.

It’s one thing to try and make food cheap because it’s getting “more expensive”. It’s another thing for us westerners to start to understand the really full cost of food.

citygirl | 4 June, 2008 - 01:48

Re: When I read about something

A farmer in germany earns 20 cent per meat chicken...if he does not have higher costs through needing to heat the stable during cold periods...a summer a little colder than usual, winter too early and then the profit is void..the farmer can be happy if he does not lose money.

Or potatoes and onions are not even harvested from the fields because the price would be so low, the farmer would lose money when he had to dig the vegetables from the ground and transport them to the factory.

So they just letit rott on the fields.

And a laying hen? 8 cent..that is not what the farmer earns after substract the costs, it is what the chicken is worth after a year of laying.

It is often not worth the money to transport the chicken to the slaughterhouse so the birds are (alive) thrown into a wood chopper and then used as fertilizer

cyrell | 29 January, 2010 - 03:23

I also think it’s a

I also think it’s a marketing strategy - they would be selling them at a smaller margin or even a loss - and make it back with whatever else you buy in the store. They are still the same sausages they were before the discount. But I am wary of supermarkets anyway as they elevate prices in general.

On the expensive burger side of things, I have had a HK$720 Wagyu Truffle Burger at the Peninsula Hotel. No way I would pay that much for a burger (someone else was shouting), but it was pretty darn good.

Chinalilly | 4 June, 2008 - 02:44

I agree this must be bad for

I agree this must be bad for the farmers. These are part of their Smart Price range, or value range of foods. The website doesn’t list ingredients but if I happen by an Asda’s I’ll brave it. Just so you know, Tesco, the UK’s biggest grocery store (I think)also have value sausages for .16p a pack. Their website does list ingredients and nutritional information as well as how to cook them.

EU Pork (40%), Water, Rusks, Pork Fat, Wheat Starch, Wheat Protein, Salt, Stabilisers (Tetrasodium Diphosphate, Disodium Diphosphate), Dextrose, Wheat Flour, Yeast Extract, Spice Extracts, Preservative (Sodium Metabisulphite), Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Dried Herb (Marjoram), Sage Extract, Filled Into Beef Protein Casings

Rusks contain: Wheat Flour, Salt, Raising Agent (Ammonium Bicarbonate)

Spice Extracts contain: Pepper, Nutmeg, Mace, Cardamom

Again, I’ve not bought these, but if you’re curious I can walk to a Tesco from my house. I don’t use Asda as they tend to put milk in everything and I have a daughter who’s allergic to milk. They even put milk in ketchup which is bizarre! Hope this helps.

Lyvvie | 4 June, 2008 - 15:39

Oh no, you don’t have to

Oh no, you don’t have to get cheap sausages on my account! :) The ingredients don’t sound too bad, though 40% meat sounds pretty low…but as you say, I’m really wondering what kind of meat is in that “EU Pork”, even if they are the classic ‘loss leader’ type of product.

maki | 10 June, 2008 - 17:02

I'd much rather being a vegan than eating 2p sausages

However, from long, long, ago, the only sausage available in Indonesia was the 2p ones, and i have to admit I ate it (since there were no other choices back then). Now that I’ve tasted very good wieners with minimum amount of additives added, I won’t even touch the 2p ones… I do love good wieners and about the rising food prices, well if i can’t afford good meat (or wieners) that’s okay with me. I’m not vegan but I’ll just eat more and more veggies (being a 80% vegan) and eat good meat only on special occasions. I think it’s much better to eat a piece very good wieners once every two weeks than to eat 2p sausages everyday as a meat substitute… yuck. I hate cheap sausages.

Mei Ying | 9 June, 2008 - 09:27

Wow this is more scary...

…than the curry sauce at Sainsbury’s. 4p if I didn’t remember wrongly and it comes in a jar too.

tommy | 11 June, 2008 - 10:30

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