Last week I lamented on Facebook that, although I am pleased that toilet paper does seem to be fairly plentiful again, I was having trouble finding my brand of choice – Cottonelle – in the places I regularly shop. Thank you to my FB Friends who have my back and directed me to a strong supply. I’m back in business. But it also served as a reminder about how passionate people are about brand loyalty. Just over a year ago when I wrote about Brand Loyalty, I could not have foreseen the changes ahead and how so many of our brand habits would be affected by supply chain.
During Michigan’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order, MOH took on the duty of the grocery shopping. Our pre-COVID grocery habits weren’t great. Our routine usually involved me stopping at the store on my way home from work several times a week and picking up just a few things. Sometimes we would do weekend shopping together and follow what we felt was a comprehensive list, but inevitably we would think of forgotten items before we even made it home. Pandemic shopping required a whole new strategy.
MOH went once a week, by himself. He had a list, and what we wanted better be on that list or we weren’t getting it until next week. Last minute phone calls or urgent texts were not accepted. I didn’t complain. I was grateful for whatever he brought home, both because I appreciated him doing the shopping and because I was thankful for anything he procured. Perhaps I’ve watched too many episodes of The Walking Dead, but I was just happy that he made it home in one piece with edible supplies, regardless of what they were. As time went by and my anxiety dialed down, I became more conscious of the weekly offering.
We have been introduced to all sorts of brands that I previously didn’t know existed. I’m not sure if this is because I’ve never noticed these brands before or whether my regular grocery store has had to procure alternate brands that they don’t normally carry. Perhaps some of both. Who knew there are other brands of soup besides Campbell’s or Progresso? Not me. Whoever heard of Inspired Organics frozen vegetables? Not me. Did you know Ore Ida isn’t the only brand of tater tots? I didn’t.
Several months have passed – I’m back to doing the grocery shopping. Toilet paper (of varying brands) fills the shelves, but I’m still perplexed by some of the items and their limited availability. I totally understand the limited supply of disinfectant wipes. I’m sure they will continue to be a hot commodity for some time. But why can’t I find 100% pure pumpkin? Are people making pumpkin pies? Are they afraid this item will be scarce in November so they are stocking up now? And what’s up the aforementioned soup? It’s available, but my grocery store’s shelves are half empty. It’s hotter than Hades in Grass Lake, Michigan. Who in the hell is buying up all the soup in the middle of July?
Oh well. I guess there are just things that I’m not meant to understand. I’ll continue to keep my eyes peeled for Clorox wipes, Method granite cleaner, and Lawry’s seasoning salt. If you hear some hootin’ and hollerin’ next time you’re at the grocery store, you’ll know I scored.