It’s a bit of a mouthful, this blog post title, but stay with me for a minute or two please.

I fell between the consumer cracks the other day. I needed a product immediately, and I don’t live in a big metropolis where I can get something delivered to me within an hour of an online submission, nor would I take that route for one item.

I needed some fresh sour cream for a taco dinner with the family. It was the only ingredient I didn’t have. I needed it within the half hour. It’s safe to say that it’s a fairly long tail item, even within the realm of fast moving consumer goods, or FMCG. There is one large supermarket, one medium-sized supermarket, one small supermarket and one corner store within a few minutes’ drive.

I went to the large supermarket, my regular place, first, where I normally get said ingredient. They were out, and there was none in the back, as the manufacturer fulfils them directly onto the shelves in the morning. The corner shop didn’t stock sour cream. The medium sized supermarket was closed (it was 6:45pm). My last resort, the small supermarket, didn’t stock sour cream any more because it was an item they never sold much of and went off quite quickly.

Boom, no sour cream for dinner. No-one to blame here, except me for leaving it too late. No criticism of the retail outlets; why they should go the extra distance for the chance of making a buck or 2 on an obscure item?

Just one ticked off consumer, a casualty of what sometimes happens with in-store long tail FMCG goods.

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