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Bait and Switch

My local grocery store is such a tease. They used to stock two of my favorite foods, but now they’ve stopped, which is much more annoying than if they’d never carried them in the first place. They giveth and then they taketh away. Who do they think they are, God?

For some reason they no longer carry Popsicle brand sugar-free fudgsicles. Regular fudgsicles, yes. No-sugar-added fudgsicles, no. I tried the generic Kroger brand in a fit of desperation, and ew, that was the most regrettable food decision I’ve made since that time my mom convinced me blue cheese was supposed to be green. The Kroger brand fudgsicles have a layer of cocoa skin on them, sort of like the skin that forms on pudding that’s been in the fridge too long. I know some people like the skin (cannibals), but not me.

My Kroger has also stopped stocking the Lean Cuisine paninis. (Panini is fancy-talk for sandwich.) I love having these for lunch, be it spinach and mushroom, southwestern-style, or chicken club. All hot and delicious, and they used to be right there at the end of the frozen food section, but no more. They’ve stopped carrying them and only stock Lean Cuisine entrees and pizzas. Grrrrrr. I want to have a word with the inventory manager! In a dark alley. While I’m holding a baseball bat.

To add to my ire, they’ve moved the location of the instant oatmeal. Where to? I have no idea. Now I’m going to have to go up and down every aisle looking for a product that was already in a perfectly good location. I feel like I’m in that old game show Supermarket Sweep where contestants have to run around a faux grocery store looking for products based on obscure clues. I haven’t been this discombobulated since they completely reorganized the Meijer stores. How is anyone supposed to find anything? At the very least they should leave a note in the old location telling you where they moved the product to. Or maybe they should just put all their products on a large rotating belt, like the luggage pick-up area in an airport, and all the customers can just stand around and grab things as they see them.

I suppose I’ll have to head over to the Marsh, which is generally more expensive, to see if they stock any of my missing products. Or I could try the *shudder*, Wal-Mart. My local Wal-Mart is kind of depressing though. Plus there’s the whole exploitation and poor treatment of the labor force.

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16 Comments

jodi • November 14, 2006 at 10:41 am

if my grocery store stopped carrying an item i liked, i would march my butt up to the manager’s window and find out why… can’t hurt… :o)

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anji • November 14, 2006 at 10:50 am

You can always request to have a particular food placed into the store and what they often do, is if they don’t find it is selling often, or that if they want to see if someone REALLY IS BUYING IT, they’ll stop it and if no one complains, then it’s gone. However, if they know you get them often, what they might do is order FEWER of them to keep them on stock.

The other thing you can do is throw a fit and make a tantrum in the middle of the aisle. You can then blame it on the sugar in the popsicles you now have to buy and that it would never have happened if you had your sugar-free popsicles!! :D

Ask and ye shall recieve!!

Just tell them, “You don’t REALLY want me to have to switch to another store to do ALL my groceries, do you? I spend (let’s just say) $3000 here a year in groceries!”

Numbers always talk!

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Debbi • November 14, 2006 at 11:34 am

My dinky little Kroger is very good about stocking things I request. Fresh cilantro, not the organic packaged kind, comes to mind. I realize fresh cilantro is a normal produce item in most groceries, but most groceries aren’t in the Middle of Nowhere.

Our store just finished a major rearranging of the interior aisles. I feel like you … the least they could have done was hand out maps at the entrance!

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Kala • November 14, 2006 at 1:59 pm

You crack me up….

I recently sent an online shit note to my grocery store chain regarding the same kind of stuff. Did not appear to do any good, but I felt better.

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Marla • November 14, 2006 at 3:55 pm

Oh I hate it when my supermarket store stops stocking something (wow, serious alliteration there!). It’s bad enough I shop at FOUR different markets on a regular basis to get various products. I’m picky about the quality and price, and so I try to rotate among them, but it still adds up to too much shopping time.

When I win the lottery, I will have it all delivered.

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Debby • November 14, 2006 at 6:44 pm

Yikes! No Lean Cuisine Paninis. I’d take up signs and protest outside the store. However, a more productive method is talking to the grocery manager and writing (online or hardcopy). Stores figure for every letter they get, there are hundreds who want the same thing.

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Mary • November 14, 2006 at 6:48 pm

I hate Walmart. I try to go in there only once a year in dire emergencies. Everytime I go (just went last week)I am reminded that regardless of how much money I could possibly save it isnt worth it. Walmart is hell on earth.

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javajabber • November 14, 2006 at 6:53 pm

I agree with the others … go to the manager’s office and request it. If enough people do, they’ll restock it.

I also love the Popsicle SF fudgsicles.

Sometimes you can go to the manufacturers’ websites and find out who is selling what you are looking for in your shopping area. Couldn’t hurt.

I had the same thing happen to me with Mueller’s low carb pasta. Now, I hate pasta, but this I could eat (I hated the reg. pasta because of the starchy taste). We were buying it for a long time and then it just stopped being made.

Now we use Dreamfields’ pasta. Excellent taste.

Well good luck. There’s nothing like a Popsicle Fudgsicle … only 50 calories if memory serves!

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Mymsie • November 14, 2006 at 7:18 pm

I’m always struggling about whether to bow to Sam Walton, especially after watching this but I have to admit that Super Walmart has a great freezer section, generally stocked with all the yummy, otherwise-hard-to-find Lean Cuisines. The produce, however, BLOWS.

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Christine • November 14, 2006 at 9:38 pm

I feel your pain sister…kinda like when the networks screw around with the TV schedule.. I like predictability.. I would ask your store manager to order the products for you. And, please stay away from Wal-mart…nothing is that good…. Good luck!

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jill • November 14, 2006 at 10:29 pm

The panini’s are great! My Safeway still carries them. I’d think that you would have luck getting them to bring those back if not the fudgies. I did notice that most of the Lean Cuisine was on sale this week but not the panini – I should have asked why….

Love your blog this is my first time posting a comment I think. I’m about 35 down and 35 more to go myself. Keep it going! You inspire a lot of people.

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Patty • November 14, 2006 at 11:28 pm

I love the sf fudgsicles and we do have them here at Safeway and Albertson’s but I’m sure that’s not out your way. Never tried the panini’s but did try some south beach entree’s and not too bad. I get tired of not being able to find certain ww products! Of course, walmart has them but usually won’t go there but it is cheaper! Complain to the manager and see if he can still order them, worth a try.

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t • November 15, 2006 at 1:29 am

very funny! i agree that you can ask the grocer to stock what you want. but also recognize that they only have so much shelf space, and what sells the most is how that battle is won. also…. thanks for NOT shopping at wal-mart. every penny you “save” there is made off the backs of the thousands they exploit.

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coraspartan • November 16, 2006 at 9:12 am

Your comment about Meijer’s remodel is very funny. I seem to recall you saying something in the past that you live in Michigan? That’s where I live too and they just remodeled my local Meijer, which is where I do all of my grocery shopping, save for some produce at the fruit market. My husband and I went to Meijer the other night and I pretty much had a hissy fit because I couldn’t find anything! Everything has been moved around, and to what benefit? The grocery aisles are not any wider or better organized, they’re just completely moved around. Why bother? AAArgh. It drives me nuts!

I feel your pain about the Lean Cuisines/Fudgesicles. Meijer stopped carrying this one type of Uncle Ben’s rice several years ago and I was devastated. Kroger carries it, but I rarely shop at Kroger, so I’m not about to make a special trip to Kroger for one item. Maybe if I had protested to Meijer when they stopped carrying the item, they might have started carrying it again.

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Kyle • May 12, 2007 at 3:49 am

I love your use of the word discombobulated. It is my favorite word in the English language.

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pmorlan • December 7, 2008 at 5:32 pm

I’m reading this blog because I just got back from my local Krogers and as usual I’m ticked off that they stopped carrying what I want to buy so I wanted to see if others felt the same way.

The Kroger brand has replaced just about everything that I like. I DON’T WANT THE KROGER BRAND I WANT MY BRAND OF CHOICE!

The last time I went to Krogers before today I wanted to get a pound of sliced ham. I asked to have it “shaved” because I like it real thin. I was told by the Deli person that they can’t do it that way anymore. I complained to the store manager but it went in one ear and out the other. So now, not only am I limited on brands but I can’t even get meat sliced the way I want it. I really hate Krogers so I’m going to drive to a store farther away just so I don’t have to have my blood pressure shoot up just from going to the grocery.

I’m tired of Krogers being in the drivers seat where their customers have to accomodate what Kroger wants instead of the other way around. Whatever happened to pleasing the customer?

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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