Sunday, January 28, 2007

Another Shopping Pet Peeve

If there is one thing I hate about food shopping, apart from the other customers who happen to be in the store when I am there, is when I find out that a particular product I happen to like is discontinued.

Several days ago, I went to the Trader Joes® grocery store near my house to buy a couple of containers of their Chocolate Soy Milk in the dairy section. It had been a week since they last had any in stock, and I figured maybe they were just delayed in getting in a new shipment. My daughter and I both love to drink chocolate soy milk, and the Trader Joes® brand is cheaper than the Silk® brand sold in Shoprite, not to mention that Trader Joes® is just a few minutes walk from my house. But I was again disappointed to see that the chocolate soy milk was still not in stock. Grabbing a box of soup crackers, I went to the register to pay for it and inquired of the lady about the chocolate soy milk.

"Oh, that's been discontinued," she replied with a twinge of sadness. She added that her husband liked it too.

Why did they have to discontinue it!?! I was buying it. Other people were buying it. While I like to shop at Trader Joes® from time to time, it seems as if they always end up discontinuing the products I specifically go there to buy. The chocolate soy milk joins a growing list of items, including the Salmon Chowder soup, the Shiitake mushroom sauce, and some kind of chocolate chip cookie that was the best chocolate chip cookie I ever had.

One of the virtues I always hear touted about the free market system is that it is supposed to provide us with the things we like. If people like a certain product, someone will sell it. Well, I liked the chocolate soy milk and the salmon chowder soup and now they are gone dammit! But of course, I have to remember that it is not all about me. I know that at Trader Joes® headquarters, a bunch of number crunchers and analysts are constantly reviewing sales figures and profit and loss statements, and after reviewing the data, they make a decision whether or not to continue selling a particular product. I just wish they could have consulted me first. :-(

13 comments:

Stardust said...

tommy - My husband and I have the same complaints about Sam's Club. When we get to the cash register and the clerk asks "Did you find everything you came for?" like they are supposed to, my husband says crabbily, "No, of course not. I never find everything I came for when I shop here." The clerks act irritated with that response, but hey, they ask! Items that we got to like and then were discontinued without notice are Smucker's strawberry preserves, deep dish apple pie, Purex laundry detergent, Vienna Italian beef and gravy, and white Dial soap bars, just to name a few.

BUT the thing I miss the most that I can no longer find is the Pilot P-500 gel pens. They were always selling out of them at Walgreens and Office Max and other places, so were hot sellers. Then, they just stopped supplying them. I can find them online in office-sized packs, but not singly in the stores anymore. I can find the P-700, but that is a thicker line and I want the 500 dammit!

Sable Chicken said...

I know what you mean. Quizno's had the best clam chowder soup. I told everyone how good it was, then one day it was gone. The people that worked at Quizno's agreed that it was good soup and a lot of people liked it. It took a year to get the soup back in the restaurant and it's just not the same clam chowder as before.
I don't really think that big chains really care that much about the customer.

BaconEating AtheistJew said...

You should join the Atheist blogroll for more exposure. I've told Stardust too. It isn't hard to do it. Just email Mojoey and copy and paste the blogroll into your sidebar.

Stardust said...

bacon - I am on the atheist blogroll but for some reason they put my blog name as "thoughts for the openminded" and not Stardust Musings. I asked him to please change it, but he hasn't.

Tommy said...

Well, at least I got it right!

:-)

I will get around to it eventually Bacon, along with my Chosen People of the Supreme Being Test.

Andrea said...

(off topic)

Tommy, just wanted to let you know that I got the new blog up. It's incomplete, but it will have to do for now. Check it out when you get the chance :)

Stardust said...

Tommy...you've been tagged by me for a Five Songs I'd Like Played at my Funeral meme. :-)

Tommy said...

Gee, thanks!

jennifer said...

My husband worked in retail on the corporate buying level for several yrs and the mindset seems to be that you gotta change things around to make your company seem "New" and "exciting." I never understood that. I still eat the same poptarts I loved when i was 8 -- 32 yrs ago -- so obviously change is not always needed or wanted.

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