Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Am I just a grumpy old man?

I delved into the chocolate biscuit barrel the other day. My claws wrapped around a legendary Aussie Tim Tam and swept it upwards and out of the barrel and straight to my lips. I anticipated the smooth milk chocolate with its chokkie biscuit centre until ...

I bit into it and immediately knew something was wrong. Instead of the crispy centre, my tongue engaged with something akin to jam. Soft, fruity and ... just not a Tim Tam. Sorry, but these brand extension things often just don't work for me. The Tim Tam experience compounded a series of bastardisations of tradition - Coke with lime, vanilla and other flavours (doesn't complement Queensland's favorite mixer, Bundaberg Rum, by the way!), some sort of cream cheesed Vegemite, Uncle Toby's oats with embedded flavours.

Apparently, citrus-flavoured 'lite' Coke was very successful in Europe, cherry Coke was a hit in the UK and so on. There is green tea flavoured Coke in Japan. So clearly, I'm out of step. My reaction to 'jam Tams' is out of whack with the rest of the marketplace. My conservatism is starting to overwhelm me in my middle years, or perhaps is just poor taste.

I thought us boomers, with our discretionary spending power were the darlings of marketers. Then again, perhaps indiscretionary spending on credit card, the province of new generations, is far more appealing. They want a much richer palette to choose from. The boredom threshold with 'more of the same' is much lower and brands obviously have to respond.

So while I make a rare visit to the local store and seek out the declining shelf space dedicated to flavours of yesteryear, others are swarming like locusts over other shelves seeking out the flavours of tomorrow. I suppose there's some form of street cred associated with being an early taste adopter.

With Apple's iPad2 tucked under your arm, you have to seek out other 'flavours of the month' to go with it - something I should chew over perhaps next time I visit the supermarket! I love the new tech, yet my appetite for change obviously ends there. Yep. I am becoming a grumpy old man.

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