Have you ever noticed that mixed, specialty packs of things always contain a dud or two that no one really likes or wants? It’s like there is an unwritten (or maybe it is written?) rule by product companies that if they are going to offer variety packages to customers, they must include a spoiler as if to say, “Nope, you aren’t entitled to ALL good choices.” Or is it more the mentality of, “Hey, here’s a good way to get rid of our God-awful concoction of whatever it is that’s not selling anyway.” My guess is that it could be a combination of one or both reasons in addition to the fact it surely comes down to the bottom line: Lower manufacturing costs = a healthy profit margin for upper management, so whatever materials/ingredients are the cheapest obviously get used. Of course, some of the so-called duds are a reflection of each buyer’s personal tastes.
This morning, I saw an ad from a popular clothing company offering 5-packs of face masks for the ensuing Christmas season. Every single pack that I perused had at least one or two masks that weren’t nearly as appealing as the others. Clearly, they must have got a real bargain on some zany, unpopular fabrics and decided to adorn each pack with their less than charming patterns, allowing only so many ‘cute’ or ‘pretty’ ones. What I would like to know is, who is it exactly that decides that there should be a limit to the amount of satisfaction that a person can glean from just one package of something? Of course, I’m sure that the marketing department plays a part as they strategically aim to have us all buying two or three bundles of whatever it is that they are selling in order to get ‘the ones’ that we really want.
Do you remember the pint-sized, variety packs of cereal boxes that I think you can still buy in the grocery stores from the infamous K-named entrepreneurs? Growing up in a camping family, those handy little boxes lined with waxed paper were the perfect solution to breakfast on-the-go. Since there were three of us kids, the lucky one who got to unfurl the cellophane always got first pick and for us, it was definitely Frosted Flakes. Next up was Rice Krispies followed by Corn Flakes and possibly Special K whereas for my husband, it was the exact opposite in that he always chose Corn Pops and Fruit Loops and the like first. After some time, my mom refused to buy the convenient multi-packs simply because the latter mentions were always left behind and she was tired of wasting their hard-earned money on our choosiness. To be fair, the cereals that I listed were the only ones that we were allowed to have at home, so it made sense that those were the ones that we favoured; the others hadn’t adorned our tastebuds, and so they were no-go’s in our books. Heaven forbid that we dare to try anything different or iffy. Why be disappointed? was our justified thinking.
Undoubtedly, chocolate bars easily make the list of the multiple-pack craze, especially at Halloween. While all things chocolate are worthy right off the bat, not all of them are created equally. For instance, KitKat and Aero were our kid-approved winners leaving Coffee Crisp and Smarties to occupy the remaining spots in the familiar red box. (Was it red back then?). Although both bars were pretty close runners-up, they were still considered second choices. That being said, they did get eaten eventually otherwise there were no more packs to be had. Yes, we children learned our lesson with the cereal fiasco. I will say that nowadays a KitKat bar is still at the top of my list, but the yellow-wrapped Coffee Crisp is right behind it. My husband on the other hand will gladly eat up the Smarties. The Aero bar is good, but there isn’t much to the two little airy squares that up and disappear, POOF!, leaving us both wanting more.
Another food item that comes to mind right away is yogurt. Let me just say that the plethora of vanilla-flavoured tubs in this refrigerated world of ours is a bit much. I mean, it’s okay and everything, but what about more of the peach or orange substance? Instead, it seems that strawberry and blueberry are other company favourites. The problem is that I’m not so sure that the rest of us are digging those stand-by’s as much as they are. Luckily, my husband and I can manage to get through a pack before it expires with each of us preferring vastly different flavours. But then, what’s up with the weird kinds that get thrown in there such as, Pomegranate-Green Tea or whatever else it is that is deemed to be the latest health trend? Maybe I’d be okay with trying one or two of those mixtures, but I don’t need four of them to tell you that it’s NOT really a good combo no matter how hard you try to sell it to me because of its ‘superfood’ capabilities. Mind you, two or three red seeds and a splash of tea likely don’t cost a whole lot to manufacture now, do they?
Hey, and what about those carefully packaged underwear bags that are rolled up like sausages with the label purposely covering the pair that has pink, polka-dotted elephants in amongst the basic white, black, and grey ones? One would think that beige would be a good pick to round out the package, but apparently not. Are they trying to push us to be a bit more adventurous in the undergarment department or is there a ‘Save the Elephant’ non-profit group associated with the company’s list of philanthropic efforts? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for helping elephants despite their sometimes angry demeanours, but I don’t need to showcase them beneath my white leggings. So, heads-up Fruit Maker people, if a consumer is choosing the black and white pack, they AREN’T likely to want pink elephants. Now, if someone was grabbing for the giraffe and emu pack, they might be interested in the elephants too, but I can pretty much guarantee you that the grey pack chooser enjoys their colourless undie collection and wants to keep it that way. Plain and simple. Anyone you know, by chance?
I can tell you one thing for sure and that is that all of the aforementioned talk about food has left me a little on the hungry side. Unfortunately, there are no Frosted Flakes, KitKat bars or peach yogurts up for grabs around our place. Guess I’ll just have to get changed and head out to the store. Hmmm… I better wear my black leggings instead of my white ones. 😉