Choices

The big Supermarket are in a frenzy, sales are falling and customer base is on the move to the lowcost outlets (Lidl and Aldi) so profits have slumped. That really hurts. Response of the big Supermarket is to cut choice. No! Okay I know I am close to freaky fringe, but I enjoy, look forward and expect my supermarket to offer me exotic products from around the world that I have never heard of or encountered. I delight in the challenge and exposure to the new. Response of the big Supermarket is to cut prices. No! Okay so I am comfortable, not well off, certainly not wealthy but I do not now have to count the small change before I shop for the weeks food, as in the past. I do not want to buy the cheapest. Actually what I want is to buy good quality food. Food I can trust has been produced in a way that will not do me harm (or our world environment) and where the prime concern is to present the purest flavour and or texture. At the price it costs, not the cheapest price but neither do I want to pay over the odds for hyped up marketing. Sure I am careful with my money but I will spend to get quality.

My problem is that I do not trust supermarket one inch. They are focussed on their profit margins,all else falls by the wayside. They squeeze, bully, coerce, threaten, intimidate all the way down their supply chain to wring an extra penny out of the deal. All those special offers, out of the supermarkets margins? Right? Wrong, coerced out the supply chain to provide this offer or else you are history, dropped. So Sainsbury’s have the ‘Taste the Difference’ marketing range. So the hype goes, upped quality at a higher than normal price, to bring you the best taste the world can offer. What I should of done is to have kept back unused the introductory product, when the quality really was there. Then compare that to the same product a year later when all those little extras features that made it stand out had been whittled away. Same price but no longer the tempting tasting product as originally launched. Laundered to extract extra profits whilst hiding behind that come on logo. This is not of course unique to Sainsbury’s but common across them all. The only line of defence I have against the supermarkets remorseless lowering of standards, sorry reducing costs, is to buy the original manufacturers own product. I happily pay the extra over odds to buy the original rather than the supermarkets own brand, produced by the self-same manufacture. I believe just maybe the manufactures still retains a little integrity and will hold out that little bit longer with its own product that gave it its success before giving in to yet more price cutting ultimatums. Just an act of faith and hope. But I do want the choice.

Maybe Ocado is the way ahead. Supermarkets are a historical footnote, and manufactures food can be directly selected from a distribution warehouse and delivered door to door, cutting out entirely the middlemen, finger in the pie, supermarkets. Until then shout with me, “I want choice before cost”.

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