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How I saved $10 at Target by being a Food Scientist

March 28, 2018


Perhaps it was less being a food scientist, and more a “technical, smart ass” (as my dad would say).

In case you’re a Target Cartwheel shopper, you’ll be happy to know that until March 31, 2018, you get a “FREE  $10 Target Gift Card with a food and/or beverage purchase of $50 or more.”



So, imagine my disappointment ringing up my $50+ in protein powders and bars (aka food) only to have the coupon not work.

Target associate:
“Mam, I can’t explain why this coupon isn’t working. You’ll have to go to customer service.”



Get to customer service – 

“I’m not sure why this isn’t working. It claims it only excludes candy, baby food & formula, pet food, Target Café and Starbucks Café.”

The associate responds:
“Ahhh! I see what happened here. This is actually a supplement. We can’t give you that coupon.”

Me: (internally)
“First of all, I’m a cute girl asking nicely. Just give it to me, male Target associate.”


Me: (externally)
“Actually – it’s a food product. It has a Nutrition Facts Panel, and not a Supplement Facts Panel. Technically, this is not a supplement. Also, personally, it is my food.”

I got the gift card.

It’s about the small wins. But on a serious note – do you know the difference?

Here’s why it matters.

This decision between a Supplement Facts Panel and Nutrition Facts Panel can significantly influence a brand’s sales and marketing strategy for at least these reasons:

1. Product placement in retail environments.
2. Use of funct