Sunday, 10 October 2010

Lost in the supermarket* or why Australia's two supermarket giants make me cry

The supermarket makes me depressed. It's windowless and fluoro-lit, and the temperature swings from nipple-pricking ice cold at the dairy section to airless around the shampoo, condoms and toothpaste aisle.

The piped music ranges from crap Mark Knopfler dirges (I don't care what all the ageing, balding 15-minute guitar-solo tragics out there say, MK put the 'dire' into '80s rock) to Kylie Minogue's frizzy disco turn.

I once had a panic attack in the dog-food and toilet-paper aisle as I felt its product-laden shelves close in on me (maybe it had something to do with my fear of being smothered by tonnes of super soft hypo-allergenic Sorbent rolls).

Recently I stomped in child-like frustration when my favourite brand of nuts, Nobby's, were usurped by the supermarket's own home brand. I want Nobby's cashews, not the non-brand that makes the two Australian supermarket Goliaths impervious to the struggling Davids of this world.

And yesterday I cried. I discovered that my favourite yoghurt in the whole world had been squashed next to the 'new' home-brand yoghurt, which promised the same taste sensation for less money.

And its packaging was similar to that of my yoghurt. It was an AVATAR. An imposter. A rip-off that denies choice to those of us who like to shop for our favourite brands. It's only a matter of time before my yoghurt gets the chop.

A tear trickled. Earlier, I'd supressed the urge to scream: "Where's the bloody Windex?" as I roamed the household-products aisle like a caged tiger. Turns out, it had been moved to a different spot. 

But the yoghurt situation was bad. I was pissed off BIG TIME. 

What to do? Because I'm officially a "mad bitch"**, I arrived home and immediately shot off an email to the manufacturer of my favourite yoghurt. "What's going on? Tell me it will be all right and my favourite yoghurt will always be there for me!"

I will report back when I get a response. 

There appears to be so much choice these days, but in reality there's precious little.

This issue is about FREEDOM OF CHOICE AND BRAND MONOPOLISATION BY AUSTRALIA'S TWO SUPERMARKET GIANTS.

We will fight them in the aisles!    

*With respect to The Clash
**My eldest daughter Precious Princess described me in such glowing terms

5 comments:

skwirk.com.au said...

Hilarious you mad bitch :)

Anita Joy said...

Oh, Shayne, you should hear me in the grocery store muttering to Mr4 as I curse the generic brands pushing the brands I want off the shelves.

Not happy Jan!

Angelina Tanguera said...

Time to switch to Aldi. There are only a few things I don't buy there (TP and cat foodj) but they can't be perfect - just almost. Can't believe how small my bill is... few choices but everything from butter (brilliant organic stuff) to coffee beans (half the price I was paying from a coffee bean factory); yoghurt (as good as any and I used to make my own) and chocolate (I used to swear by Belgian)...is Cheaper!! And last week I bought a new 4 burner bbq with work burner for $299! Most of their stuff is Australian, CHOICE loves them...and I never feel tempted by a petrol voucher!

Angelina Tanguera said...

Got so excited I didn't proofread my copy... it is of course a wok burner!

Shayne said...

OK, OK! I'm sold. As long as it's Australian.

I've had Coles, and I'm never ever going to buy Aldi yoghurt over Gippsland Dairy. It is a heavenly sensation.