There are two distinct price ranges for identical food items in the Hamptons. One is at the markets for the rich. The other is at the markets for everybody else.
I had a go around with a quart of orange juice the other day. At a market for the rich I was buying organic wonderful stuff for high prices, but then realized, when I saw a quart of Tropicana orange juice in a case, that we were in the need of some. I’d bite the bullet. Or would I? At checkout, they rang it up for $12. I told them it was too much and to put it back, and the checkout person deducted it.
We had company for that weekend and I told this experience to the husband, who happens to be a celebrity chef. “The price has risen because of a poor crop. No rain,” he said. “Mostly it’s Brazil. Twelve dollars is a fair price.”
Later that day, back at the market for the rich, I decided to go for the $12 orange juice. There was a different checkout person, and she didn’t know what to charge and so shouted to somebody to ask. “Six dollars,” came the reply, and so sold me the $12 orange juice for $6.
The next day I was in an everybody-else supermarket, and, curious, went over to the cold case to check out the price of Tropicana. Above it was a sign that read “SPECIAL. 2 FOR $6.99. REGULARLY $5.99. Wow! I already had the one. Should I get two more? Sure!
At checkout, it got rung up as $5.99 and $5.99, and when I saw it I stopped the checkout woman and told her the sign said 2 for $6.99. She thought about it and shrugged, then deducted one of the $5.99 and put both of the Tropicanas in the bag.
I figure it must be raining in Brazil.