I don’t always drink coffee, but when I do, I put A LOT of cream and some sugar into it.
Real Dairy Creamers – My Brief History
Now, even though one of my favorite actors one day discovered non-dairy powdered creamer (nope not meth), I never got the taste for it. Even the liquid non dairy creamers which are mostly soybean and other hydrogenated oils didn’t sit well with me.
The first to come up with the idea to put real dairy creamer with flavors back on the market was me. (At least I think so.) But not having any cows, production and distribution systems nearby, I let that idea sit on the shelf. Then along came La Crème producing exactly that. With a much larger footprint in the creamer market came Coffee-mate.
I have a theory that Coffee-mate could react and make this product and push it out into the market (even as a response) faster than La Crème could build their market, so Coffee-mate won.
Their Natural Bliss line of real dairy creamers is good. So good that I didn’t mind switching. The vanilla flavor is my favorite, but they are all good.
Then one day, they disappeared.
I went to the store, and couldn’t find it on the shelves of Giant. I checked the other nearby store, also gone. I did end up finding it as Safeway though (which we’ll get back to in a second). I asked the Dairy Manager about it, and he said that it was being discontinued.
Discontinued I thought! NO! What will I put in my coffee? Will I actually have to buy vanilla syrup and cream and add them individually to my coffee? (I know, real travesty right?)
So I went to the website to find this little note:
They’re only mostly gone
Yeah, turns out there was some quality issues they didn’t like in the product, so they voluntarily recalled some of them. I’m guessing it had to do with a little bit of curdling. Didn’t bother me that much, but that’s only my guess.
A few things though… Why was it still on the shelves of Safeway? Why did my grocer tell me it was discontinued?
Communication failures are the leading cause of other failures [Citation Needed 😉 ] But what could Coffee-mate have done differently? How about an advertising campaign? I mean, they have one good thing going for them right now, they are the only real dairy flavored creamer on the market, so they can use this negative as an opportunity. Even take advantage of an artificial demand with low supply market situation.
What about sending a shelf hanger that says “We’ll be right back, we’re getting more cows” or something similar. Don’t even talk about the quality issues but make it cute and get the correct message out.
Make that shelf hanger dispense coupons for the other flavors. Hey, we’re out of these flavors for a bit, they’ll be right back, but in the mean time, why not try these other flavors our cows work just as hard to produce.
We’ll make our Natural Bliss Dairy Creamer until the cows come home. Seems like some of them got lost, but as soon as we find them, we’ll make more.
We heard from exactly none of you that the quality of our product had some issues. That’s right, you didn’t say a thing, but we did. So we’re making some changes, and bringing you a better quality product that you also won’t complain about.
Maybe I’m watching too much Mad Men, and advertising is really more difficult than coming up with these witty sayings. Or maybe it just takes someone not in the corporate culture to react to any situation.
Stay thirsty my friends….. but well hydrated. Let’s not go crazy here.