Monday, May 10, 2010

New and improved

Those three words ‘new and improved’ almost never REALLY mean that. In fact when I see that on a package, my stress level goes up because I know I am in store for a lot of work ahead. This is primarily because manufacturers often like to mess with packaging by making product physically bigger or fatter, but in the end, they put less of the thing in the package so the total quantity goes down. I want to use products that I know because I do not have to keep going back and recalculating price to product ratios.

I particularly hate messing with paper products. It seems like every day toilet paper and paper towels have discovered a new and better way to absorb water or … uh whatever. REALLY? I mean how many ways are there really to suck up liquid. What’s next, each paper towel comes with its own straw and you sit there and suck up the spills yourself? Yeah why not – It’s certainly new and should work just fine. You know if you hear the code words ‘super soft’ or ‘thick and absorbent’, - it may be technically true, but you are only going to get about 10 tissues out of the puffy box with flowers on it and have to take out a loan to pay for it.

Canned goods seem most often to leave quantities alone and just raise the price when they need to. That’s probably because kids are not walking the aisles of supermarkets demanding spinach or cans of white northern beans for energy snacks. No they want the brightly colored cookie and cereal packaging with Elves, Fairies and all kinds of characters with hats, happily eating sugar and flour products. Kid’s do not care if Chips Ahoy secretly went from 20 ounce packages to 18 ounces at the same shelf price. All they know is that the bright blue package LOOKS exactly the same and they NEED IT NOW!

So be on guard when you see any package that the manufacturer have updated. Sometimes if you’re lucky, the company may indeed have a promotion going on and will offer you an extra foot or two of duct tape if you buy a dozen rolls. Heck if you need to bind hostages (or kids) regularly and like the stuff, why not even stock up a little? As for me, my blood pressure will increase and I will start to feel the sweat on my brow when I turn to the supermarket paper aisle. Yes I don’t need eagle vision to see that annoying yellow star on the paper towels from a mile away. It reads “NOW SUPER ABSORBENT” – oh god, I hope these towels don’t make ME suck up my own sweat … at least not at THAT PRICE!!!

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