If you've ever ordered your grocery shopping online - and don't we all these days - then you're bound to have encountered the deep disappointment that is the unexpected substitution item.
You're probably familiar with the drill. You order a box of mint tea and instead, due to an unforeseen stock shortage, they send you a packet of chewing gum or a fresh mint herb plant. Funny, perhaps, but hardly useful.
The first thing I do when my grocery shopping arrives is check the substitutions list. Nine times out of ten I end up returning the substituted item and I've often wondered what the criteria is for choosing substitutes. Do you need a certain kind of training to determine what is or isn't a suitable alternative? And do the folk who are tasked with that responsibility ever pick an alternative item based purely on the laugh it might get when the shopping is delivered?
I think we can safely say yes, based on one mum's recent discovery when her Tesco grocery order was delivered. Instead of the Cadbury's Easter eggs she'd ordered for her 12-year-old twin sons, the surprised shopper found Tesco has substituted the sweet treats with... wait for it... a salad.
The Daily Mail reports:
"Joanne Bayley, 41, had paid £8 for a Cadbury's Mini Eggs extra large egg for each of her 12-year-old twin sons Matthew and James as part of her Tesco online shop. But when the order arrived, Mrs Bayley, from Colchester, was shocked to find that the supermarket giant had substituted the two eggs for a single £3.50 roast chicken and broccoli salad."
Mrs Bayley saw the funny side, fortunately, and joked that Tesco was perhaps taking its healthy eating policy a little too far. Tesco has said they are looking into what led to this unusual substitution. I guess we'll never know bit I can't shake the suspicion that a groceries packer just couldn't resist playing a cheeky Easter prank.
It's definitely my fave ever substitution story but we'd love to hear yours. What daft thing have you found in your shopping as a substitute, and what's the most useless item you've ever been sent to replace something out of stock? We'd love to hear your stories in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.