post

Is Your Favorite Product Homeless?

What happens when one of your favorite products sees sales dwindle and it, in effect, becomes homeless?

My favorite coffeemaker, the Senseo®, uses coffee pods that are becoming increasingly difficult to find at retail and when I do, it’s usually for a flavor I don’t drink (like the Dark Roast pictured above). Any smart techie and ‘net user like me would just go online and order them in bulk, right?

The answer is “yes” but in a strange twist on the “I can buy that cheaper online” phrase many of us use when trying to negotiate while shopping in a bricks-n-mortar store, the online purchase of coffee pods are much higher ($.50 – $1.60 more per pack) than I could buy them at Target, Cub Foods or other outlets.

What’s driving this lack of inventory at retail? I’ll boil it down to one development over the last several years: choices in coffeemakers. From traditional percolators to drop-in little ‘cups’ to several different types and sizes of coffee pods, for retailers it would be like trying to stock DVDs in half a dozen formats so they just don’t and they’re bound to be out of one of them at frequent intervals.

But it’s not just specialized coffeemaker coffee that is homeless. [Read more...]