I’m in the pharmacy today waiting to pick up a prescription so I’m browsing through the store. I always check out the candy aisle so I can fight that craving and resist the sugar fix that awaits. I am, of course, a sucker for things in bright, shiny packages so I like the seasonal nature of certain things. I know they don’t taste any different, but the pastel M&M’s at Easter are just better than regular ones. They still have the red, white and blue M&M’s and Skittles and we are close enough to the 4th of July that they aren’t on clearance. But, suddenly I see a couple of bags of miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in fall colors and with a fall themed bag.
NO!!! It is way too soon to be reminded of fall when everything is still green and the weather is still warm and shorts are still the outfit of choice. I mean I know there are other signs. The magazine racks have all the Football magazines so we can all pick our fantasy teams. (I love how people claim to be “experts” in Fantasy sports when so much is just dumb luck and who avoids injuries). I won’t go into my feelings about winter since they are so well known but I want to hold on to summer as long as possible so it always makes me a little sad to see the signs that we are moving closer to fall. Already the school supplies are out but that’s expected since some schools here start in early August. But, soon the beach stuff and sunscreen and picnic things will be in the retail purgatory with big clearance signs posted on them as newer and brighter fall themed merchandise takes center stage.
I suppose this is just the circle of retail life. You have back to school, followed by fall which leads into Halloween when the candy aisles become especially fun to walk through. Then, you get the biggest change at Christmas (some of that will sneak out along with the Halloween stuff but it doesn’t go full bore until after Halloween. Thanksgiving gets precious little shelf play except the grocery stores will move the stuffing and cranberry sauce and canned sweet potatoes to more prominent positions. (Side note: make you own cranberry sauce, it is the easiest thing in the world and is better than the stuff in the can). Then, you get liquor for New Year’s Eve followed by the traditional things to support resolutions everyone makes like fitness stuff and things to get your life better organized. That bleeds into the Super Bowl which is now a big enough event that if you aren’t hosting or attending a Super Bowl party, you must be abnormal. And then comes Valentine’s Day which does overlap the Super Bowl and fills the candy aisles that were empty since the Christmas stuff disappeared. Easter soon follows with more and different candy (and the long awaited arrival of Cadbury Eggs !!!). That leads into spring with lots of gardening stuff because we all want to grow flowers and vegetables and get outside after being cooped up all winter. Then you get summer with the beach stuff, sun stuff and other things to encourage you to stay outside. Along with that is some 4th of July themed stuff and then you hit back to school and the cycle starts all over again.
When you look forward to something like I do, seeing the spring stuff make an appearance is always something that makes me a little happy. The reverse side is that that fall stuff makes me a little sad. I suppose there are people who look forward to the fall but the retail world always seems to push us towards thinking about what is coming and maybe not enjoying what is here. The retail world is for planners. Those of us who fly through life and don’t think about these things can often end up in trouble. Try finding a snow shovel or snow melt stuff in late February. The hardware stores are well stocked with barbecue grills but may or may not have any left over snow removal stuff. And, in my part of the country, you are a heck of lot more likely to need snow removal stuff in late February. Days where you can grill out are few and far between. But we all want to believe that winter is over and look forward to the spring and summer and the retail cycle helps to sell that to us.
Oh, and since this is something of a light post, let me rant a bit. I was in the grocery store the other day and saw Blueberry Pie Oreos. Seriously? Then I look at the Oreo display and there are so many different varieties and that doesn’t even take into account the previous “special editions” that came and went. Who sits around at Oreo headquarters and says “what can we do next”? You think at some point they are going to run out of ideas. Strawberry/rhubarb Oreos? I’m seriously expecting Sriracha Oreos at some point since the Sriracha craze has hit a peak and it would certainly be trendy. Do I seriously need that much temptation?? Every time I see something new, I think, gee I’d like to try that. I guess it becomes a victory every time I can turn down one of their offerings. So keep bringing it Oreo, I won’t break! I might be curious about the Sriracha ones though.
Oh, and Oreo’s aren’t the only offender. How many different varieties of Cheerios or Chex line the shelves? Back in my day, you had Wheat, Rice and Corn. Wheat Chex are really only good for Chex mix in my opinion. I couldn’t even tell you how many exist now. I think there is a Chocolate version which seems a little silly since Chex were supposed to be positioned as a non-sugar cereal. I mean, if you want chocolate for breakfast, just go with Cocoa Puffs. Or spread Nutella on something (or just eat it out of jar).
See I have two minds on this. The logical part of me does always wonder why we need so many different varieties of certain things. The, the emotional part of me goes “ooh, new and shiny, must have”. Which explains why they do it. Because it works. I wonder when we’ll see Sriracha Chex or Cheerios?
Kind of in a silly mood today which is actually good considering how dark I’ve been lately. So you get silly post. Figured you deserved it.