Tiger Mart, subsidiary of Exxon corporation, rolled out an innovative marketing experiment in San Diego by offering gas "by the spoonful". Exxon CEO, Lee Raymond told reporters,
We believe that customers will be more inclined to fill up with us if they see prices like 11 or 16 cents .. even if those are the price's for a spoonful of super unleaded."
Lynn Jenson, reporter for the San Diego Tribune told readers,
"I was there at the Ocean Blvd station the first day Tiger Mart started the spoonful program. I bought 78 spoonfuls of super unleaded for less than $10. That in fact was indeed enough to .. get me to the next Tiger Mart."
With actual crude prices to soon top 90 dollars per barrel, analysts are warning that some older pumps might have to be refitted with wider displays. Exxon's CEO explained,
"Back in the 50's and 60's when gas was a nickle and bread was a dime, pump manufacturers created pump displays that could easily display amounts of $99 or less." He added,
"That's not wide enough these days. This winter some customers will wind up spending several hundred dollars to fill up their tanks. That's where our
innovative spoonful concept comes in."
Jay Leno, on Friday night's show quipped,
"What? Folks are going to start walking into Tiger Mart going, "Give me a pack of Salem lights and oh, eleven spoonfuls on pump number 8?".
All motorists, however are not laughing. Consumer reaction to the new marketing program has been mixed in San Diego. One resident said,
"When I saw that sign showing gas for 11 cents I almost crashed into the sign. Later I came to realize that I only get a spoonful of unleaded for 11 cents. I bought 22 spoonfuls though. And a Slurpee. Unfortunately the Slurpee lasted longer than the 22 spoonfuls."
Hank Wallace, independent truck driver, expressed some concerns. He said,
"Our fuel tanks are massive. I think I'd feel a bit silly pulling my rig in asking for 287,000 spoonfuls of diesel. Perhaps they could also offer gas by the glassful."
Exxon CEO, Lee Raymond said that he would take the suggestion into consideration. Once prices hit 88 cents .. per spoonful.