Fanfare for the Common Man: I want my olive back

  • Wednesday, August 22, 2012

They have gone and done it this time.
What do they take us for anyway? Morons? They must. We are getting fleeced again … again.
I am at a point where I’m about to stand up and say, “I want my olive back.”
A couple of years back marketing and economic analysts with Delta Airlines discovered that if the airline commissary left one olive off its side salad it would save something like $2.3 million in food costs.
Now, I’m seeing evidence of this everywhere. Literally, manufacturers are “shaving” chunks of product off what we’re buying in order to save money.
For example, you’ve seen the candy bars now with the extra-long wrapper and cardboard strip holding not just one but TWO Butterfinger candy bars, “one for you and one to share.”
What you don’t see is because they’ve cut my Butterfinger bar in half they also have tapered the now two individual bars, thereby robbing me of even more tasty peanut butter and chocolaty goodness.
I don’t like being robbed of any extra peanut butter and chocolaty goodness.
If you were to stand one regular Butterfinger bar and the two smaller bars (for which you’re charged 50 cents extra) end to end, you would find there would be less Butterfinger candy for your buck.
Yes, I performed this test, and yes, I am summarily outraged.
It’s not just about food, either. Ask yourself this, when was the last time you bought an actual half gallon of ice cream and not a quart and a half? I don’t like it when others decide how much I am supposed to eat for my $4.99.
I found the same cost-shaving shenanigans in the shower.
I have my bar of Zest soap all ready to lather up for a good shower. Zest I have found – again keeping me the consumer first and foremost in their minds and maybe thinking I’d be using my bar of Zest soap in prison – has tapered the bars of soap into a rounded hour-glass shape for my ready convenience because nobody wants to drop the soap in the shower.
Well, in giving my soap that easy to hold shape I get less soap per bar. Note the comparison between the Zest bar and a bar of Ivory. Of course there’s so little soap in Ivory that it floats (another bathtub convenience – who wants to root around the bottom of the bathtub for the bar of soap? Heaven knows what you’ll find there) so then you’re comparing mass as much as size.
If you see any product offer you the convenience of an easy-to-hold bottle, know for sure you are trading product volume for that convenience. Personally I’ll take my chances with a purely cylindrical bottle of Diet Coke, and if I drop my Zest in the shower the only thing I’ll have to worry about when bending over to pick it up is whether I’d throw my back out.
In the meantime I want my half-gallon of ice cream and pound of coffee.
I want my Hershey’s Kisses without those nifty flavor air pockets.
I want my olive back.

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