Peaches as the McRib and Nov. 30 links to like - The Packer

Peaches as the McRib and Nov. 30 links to like

12/01/2011 01:51:00 AM
Tom Karst

  Did you see the bold proposition by retail guru Phil Lempert today?

Here is part of  what he said in The Lempert Report today:

So we raise the question:  Why risk disappointing customers, giving refunds and damaging the store’s image by attempting to keep as many fruits and vegetables in stock year-round? Shouldn’t supermarkets be more selective in what they try to keep on hand and manage consumer expectations with a simpler premise that is easier to deliver:  Offer the best-quality produce at the best prices in season, and educate consumers that the rest of the year is hit-and-miss at sticking to high standards of quality and nutrition at reasonable prices.

Supermarkets could explore an example from McDonald’s, which has sustained a consumer following for its 30-year-old, on-again, off-again McRib sandwich. The Awl proposes a theory that the chain typically re-introduces McRib to the menu when pork prices are favorably low and the sandwich is more profitable. A deeper analysis could either help prove or disprove this. Yet the principle that a favorite food of consumers not be readily available 365 days a year intrigues us.

TK: Lempert is nothing if not thoughtful, but this concept of a supermarket with the "best quality produce at the best prices in season" is not going anywhere. What supermarket with any competition will "do without" the first cherries of the season in the vain attempt to only stock the best quality produce at the best prices? 

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