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Publix Pilot Pulls Back On Free Deli Meat Samples

Photo from Publix Facebook page.

Next time you order deli meat at Publix don’t expect that free slice of meat. The Tampa Bay Times reports Publix is piloting a change at delis in central and southwest Florida. A Publix spokesman said this is to create a “more natural exchange” between customers and deli clerks.

Customers on social media are not pleased, to say the least. Kim Lopez said this is an odd move because people take the sample to make sure the thickness is right and to see if they like the taste of a new meat.

“and on like on a personal note, I just love having that free sample while I’m shopping and it’s more of a childhood thing because I remember when my mom used to shop she would give me her free sample at Publix and it was the only thing I could think about when I went to Publix,” said Lopez.

Publix won’t say whether this is a cost cutting measure, but a Tampa Bay Times food critic did some math and puts each free slice at about 38 cents.

Publix said while the free slice is no longer automatically offered at some stores, customers can still ask for one.

Here’s the statement from Publix:

“We are piloting a change in the Lakeland division delis.  In these locations, as our deli associates greet our customers they will offer a slice of the cheese of the week.  In making this change to promote the cheese of the week, if the customer orders sliced meet, these stores are not offering the sample slice to create a more natural interaction with with customer.  Our customers can always ask for a sample of their order, and any of our other meats and cheeses.”


Editor’s note: This story was updated to include a direct statement from Publix

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About Crystal Chavez

Crystal Chavez