Without doubt, one of the most boring household duties I find is the weekly excursion to the supermarket. Patiently pushing the trolley through the aisles as my wife slowly fills it with piles of strange items.
“Hang on love! Do we really need all of that food? We’re only shopping for a week! It’s going to take us a week just to get through the check out!”
Inevitably, if I’m behind the wheel, there’ll be a collision of some sort. Either with a delicately piled product display, an infant hidden by the metal frame of the trolley or another shopper’s trolley that happens to be in the way.
Why do I always get the one with the broken wheel??
Although, after several hundred visits to the supermarket, I think I’ve finally discovered a trick!
If I carefully load the bottom of the trolley with the most expensive, most delicious treats – cheese, pate, salami and other gourmet gifts – my wife is so shocked by the cost of it all that the number of invitations that I receive to join her on her shopping trips has fallen dramatically. However, someone still needs to push the trolley and carry the bags so my role is not completely redundant.
On my most recent trip it was just the two of us once again. I was pushing the trolley and annoying my wife as I pointed to all of the delicious (expensive) items.
“Why don’t we buy two of these?”
“Honey, you know that OMO washes whiter and brighter. Remember the jingle?”
“Richard, stand here and don’t move, I will be back in a second”
There I stood, following orders, right next to a big banana display. I must say – it was fascinating to watch. In fact, it has become the inspiration for this month’s blog.
Customer #1 – a young lady.
She took a bunch of bananas and scrutinised each one carefully. She pressed them, felt them and sniffed them. He partner did the same. After a discussion between them they took two bananas from the bunch and left the rest behind. She was so pedantic about the bananas but obviously hadn’t exercised her selective analysis on her partner. He was a scruff! Mind you, she probably wasn’t going to win the Miss Universe competition either.
Customer #2 – a professional gentleman.
This customer visited the banana stand and after lengthy contemplation, he took two bananas from the bunch. Why? Why just two? It was a Wednesday so perhaps he eats one each weekday morning and then hits the cafe on the weekends for an Eggs Benedict. He seemed like a man of routine and habit.
The next customer to peruse the bananas picked up one banana and rejected it. But that banana was chosen by another customer. Why? Why was it good for one customer but no good for another?
And why would you buy just one banana?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, after all, beauty is only peel deep.
Following this extensive research project, I can surmise that it’s the yellow bananas that are preferred by shoppers. Bananas need to be carefully cultivated and they need to look perfect for shoppers to buy them. The rest of them get overlooked. But what happens to those ones … ??
I had another interesting experience last month – I attended the Better Business Awards where the keynote speaker was Ronni Kahn, the founding director of OzHarvest – a food rescue charity that matches surplus food with people in need.
Ronni said in one case OzHarvest rescued 16,500 carrots that were rejected by major supermarkets because they weren’t orange enough!
Two Men And A Truck recently received two awards for Environmental Sustainability and Staff Support. We’re very pleased about this and we’re grateful for the recognition. We’re trying hard to make a positive difference.
“Richard, why did you only buy two bananas?!”
“Well I couldn’t leave two rejected, sad looking bananas on the shelf, could I?”
“But you don’t even like bananas!”
Sounds like it’s time for me to get moving …