Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Product development

Here's something you don't see every day - BEER MIX:

What is that? Well, it's just product development in the wild wild east! How come nobody ever thought of mixing beer with oranges or lime fruits and sell it in a can?

This picture was taken in a Ukrainian mini market. Which brings me to another observation - juice:

In the supermarkets you can buy all sorts of juice. Weird ones too. It seems that the Ukrainian retailers are thinking more about getting as many different items on the shelves hoping to increase probability of customers finding something they want, in stead of figuring out exactly what customers want and then optimize sales on those products.

Again... juice:

In Danish supermarkets you can get orange juice, apple juice, grape juice, pineapple juice and a few others. Then you can get the more exotic mixes like orange/carrot.

In Ukrainian supermarkets you can get juice with all fruits and vegetables available in the world, and of course a mix of all available combinations. For example, you can buy green grape juice and you can buy blue grape juice. I would not be surprised at all if I found a mix of green and blue grape too.

That's one more difference between the boring West and the Wild Wild East, which by the way goes for other products as well in the supermarkets.

It seems pretty harmless, but I think theres a bit more to it. Our nanny is 28 years old, and she once told me a story from when she was 12; She stood in a line somewhere ALL DAY just to buy 12kg of salt. Not that her family needed 12kg of salt, but because they could trade some of it for bread, milk, butter, meat etc. In other words; buying basic groceries was very difficult and time consuming, but so important that families had to send their kids to wait in a line.
This is not more than 10-15 years ago, so EVERYBODY can remember the terrible food shortage.

I think it's plausible to argue that this fact from recent history is why Ukrainian retailers are OVER PACKING their stores with too many weird products.

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