Now In New Improved Original Flavour – Lite With EZ Open Dispens-O-Matic

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I have been told that it is a symptom of aging to be distressed by change. This must be true, because I remember that as a baby I used to cry whenever I needed a new diaper. I have been told that that time is coming again, but at least now I will have a spicier vocabulary.

I’m pressed to this reflection when I round the corner in the supermarket and discover one of two distressing things:

a. The supermarket has changed the layout of the groceries yet another time for no apparent reason.

b. The maker of some prepackaged food has changed the wrapper or logo.

I am resilient enough go scouting, but sometimes when I cannot figure out the pattern of the stock in the shop I take a shortcut out through the front door and go to another retailer who has left their shelves alone. Too many incidents of this nature set up an aversion to the grocery store and another year’s worth of shopping goes down the street.

The change in label is likely to see me pass right by the product as I am bent on a particular colour and design, rather than a printed set of words. If it is the same recipe and I can find it a couple of times in the new packaging, the pattern is re-established and I go on buying the product. If it is accompanied by a change in ingredients or taste than the mechanism resets instantly and I am a candidate for rival foods. The maddening thing about this is the new product formulation might be better than the old one, but the  reaction is still the same.

Of course this is all just soup and nuts to the retailers who depend upon constant change to move their products. The fashion industry comes to mind in this. They don’t come to my mind and certainly not to my clothes closet, but there are those who are wooed and won weekly with new presentations.

At least they are some things that do not change. Potatoes are pretty hard to alter, as are red beans and rice. And I can recognise an onion at 50 paces. Guess what we eat a lot of at our house.

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