Truth In Advertising

This is my favorite brand of pita chip — no contest. I lose myself for hours staring at the bag. It’s like, “Wait. What? You’re telling me eight is 33% more than six? Bigger bags have more chips?!

Stacy, honey, if you’re gonna play this game, you need to play to win:

2011 May 01: Pwolf submits another entry.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school teacher, former graduate student, and current head of teaching at Desmos. More here.


  1. Jazo

    April 26, 2011 - 10:08 pm

    Math things that made my day #2. #1 being a star wars themed integral worksheet being corrected for star wars errors.

  2. Richard Dyer

    April 27, 2011 - 5:32 am

    I find “92% fat free” more bizarre. As if 8% fat means it’s a healthy option.

  3. Aaron B.

    April 27, 2011 - 9:09 am

    Has anyone compared them (Stacy’s to the competitor)? Are they the same price?

  4. Natalie Sprigg

    April 27, 2011 - 3:44 pm

    Good point Aaron, exactly what I was wondering. Maybe a good investigation for kids! There seem to be all sorts of consumer math questions in the “truth in advertising” sector! My students are working on a Geometry project to maximize volume and minimize surface area for a soda can. It could be a lot of fun to have them meet after the other groups present and ask, “What ad (involving math) could you come up with that would be both ACCURATE and HONEST while still making your product look better?”

  5. Christopher Danielson

    April 28, 2011 - 4:21 am

    So the other chips must have 25% fewer calories, right?

  6. Brian

    April 28, 2011 - 8:52 am

    Thanks, Dan. I used this today as an intro to percent change.

  7. Michael

    April 28, 2011 - 9:27 am

    @ Jazo:
    You cannot just throw out there that you have a Star Wars themed integral worksheet. I need to see that!

  8. Pwolf

    April 29, 2011 - 7:57 am

    So I have a bag of 9 oz pita chips at the house that reads “55% more for the price of 6 oz.”

  9. Dan Meyer

    April 29, 2011 - 8:12 am

    @Pwolf, scan that thing!

  10. Randy

    May 2, 2011 - 5:25 am

    On a slightly different note. It amazes me when I go to the grocery, like this morning to get sugar, that the idea of Larger no longer means Cheaper by the pound/ounce. For the same brand the 4 lb bag was $2.22 and the 10 lb bag was $5.45. And to tell you the truth the homemade pancake syrup with the 4 pound bag tasted just fine.

  11. R. Wright

    May 2, 2011 - 9:28 am

    Randy: The 10-pound bag in your example is cheaper per pound, isn’t it? But I know what you’re talking about — I’ve been troubled for the past few years by the fact that many products are the same price, or even more, per ounce in larger sizes than in smaller ones. How on Earth can this make any sense at all? I chalk it up to a growing public innumeracy.

  12. Ed

    May 3, 2011 - 6:27 am

    Pwolf, Much as I hate to admit it, they’re truthful in that case…

  13. Pwolf

    May 3, 2011 - 7:26 am

    I was actually submitting that one because I was genuinely confused by the wording. 9 ounces at the price of 6?

  14. Midwest Bob

    May 3, 2011 - 9:15 am

    Maybe I am missing something. Math is correct, advertising is poor??? I worked it as a percent of change, hence the fine print.

  15. Dan Meyer

    May 3, 2011 - 9:38 am

    Midwest Bob: Maybe I am missing something. Math is correct, advertising is poor???

    Right. They’re only implying something that Pwolf’s bag makes explicit.

  16. Midwest Bob

    May 3, 2011 - 9:50 am

    Thanks! I’m not the brightest bulb in the box, but wanted to be sure I wasn’t missing something. I’m the guy in the room that over thinks things.

  17. PWolf

    May 3, 2011 - 10:14 am

    The copier is on the fritz, but the back of the bag boasts that Athenos has 50% less fat than their leading competitors.*

    *Who sell potato chips.

  18. Randy

    May 3, 2011 - 1:39 pm

    R Wright, well that just shows bad typing skills on my part. The price was $5.85 for the 10 pound bag. Oh well, at least you understood what I was trying to point out, regardless of my keyboard input.

  19. Numbat

    May 10, 2011 - 12:47 pm

    @RWright. Often it’s a volume of sales thing. It’s almost a natural thing here that a 1.25L coke is half the price of a 2L coke.