Every time I get hooked on a food or drink, the industry discontinues it, leaving me feeling like a jilted lover.
The latest was a brisket sandwich at a fast-food joint. After church recently, I stood in line for 10 minutes, only to be told it had been discontinued. I had to panic order and ended up with chicken.
Later, I wrote to the company and was told the sandwich might return later this year.
But I’m hungry now.
Have your favorite foods been yanked out from under you? I get jilted from every corner.
Last year, my favorite supermarket discontinued its own line of soft drinks. The 12-packs were cheap and flavorful.
After a store merger, the drinks started disappearing. Thoughtful managers went to great lengths to find me my soda from other places, but eventually that ran out, too. Now I’m having to drink – yuck! – name brands.
My wife has very specific taste buds, and for decades we have drunk a brand of Colombian coffee that we enjoy. It isn’t found in very many supermarkets, and even though the price climbed over the years, it was still a bargain because, unlike the competition, the can still held a full pound.
Then, on a day that will live in infamy, I saw that the label had changed. The can held 11 ounces.
At first, the import of the change didn’t hit home, because the other brands reduced the contents in their cans years ago.
Then I noticed the price. It had not changed.
I whipped out my calculator. Getting less coffee for the same money equated to a price increase of more than 40 percent.
The store blamed the manufacturer, which put the fault back on the store, saying retailers determine what they charge. Squeezed in the middle, I was the caffeine addict’s version of The Scream.
As I said, my wife is picky about food. By a miracle, we found a spaghetti sauce that we both liked. It had black and green olives in it. We bought it all the time. Until.
That’s right; it vanished from the shelves. Big Food Business was at work again.
The recent Christmas season offered no respite.
Let me point out that I am easy when it comes to food; all they have to do is write “hot” or “jalapeno” on the label and I will buy it.
So, when I was purchasing a bottle of coffee creamer and saw a hot pepper and the words “vanilla heat” on the label, I was ecstatic. I could augment my now-expensive coffee with a spicy creamer.
After Christmas, the flavor was put on clearance. Nooooooooooo!
I called the company and got someone many time zones away who couldn’t understand the need to continue that flavor.
“But it’s not seasonal,” I insisted. “What does ‘vanilla’ or ‘heat’ have to do with Christmas? Bring it back!”
If people like me are buying these things, how can they fall out of favor at the corporate level? It’s enough to ruin my appetite.