IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: GUEST POST

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

ADVERTISING: ALMOND DRINK AND SPORT SOCKS.

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul and I’m happy to be here once again in the garden tending to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. I must say, it’s great to see you all here in this relaxing atmosphere surrounded by flowers and butterflies. Have a seat where you choose, at a table in the sun or shade, and I’ll be happy to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

My week has been a bit up and down. I haven’t been feeling the best for a number of reasons and you know how grumbly we all get when we’re down. The weather here has turned quite cool – down to about 10 Celsius (50 F) at night with rain during the day – and although that is good for sleeping, I miss the sun and warmth.

 

I was out for a walk to the grocery store on Thursday and there was a tent set up on the plaza in front of the store. It was a display for a product called Almond Breeze – a milk substitute product that has been advertised here recently. The product is fairly expensive and I wasn’t about to buy it just to find out that I didn’t like it, but here they were offering samples. This intrigued me, as a lot of their advertising has been about how good it tastes and how nutritional it was.

There were a number of small paper cups of samples, so I took one and tasted it while the attendant was busy with another customer. The flavor was complex but enjoyable and it had small chips of ice in it. The attendant became free and I asked about the product. She said it was the original Almond Breeze with banana, honey and ice chips in it – and they were preparing the drink in a blender. That was nice, but I don’t have bananas, honey, chipped ice or a blender at home, so I asked to try a sample of the product without the additions. This apparently was a no-no as the attendant refused. When I asked why, she just replied: “We are only allowed to use the recipes we are given.” So I told her that I certainly wasn’t going to buy a product that the manufacturer wouldn’t let me taste – and I left.

 

On the way out, I noticed that although the tent had large “Almond Breeze” emblems on it, there were also many Dole brand and Billy Bee Honey products advertized – bananas, pineapples, honey, etc. When I got home, I Googled Almond Breeze and found that it is a supplier owned co-operative in California that is the largest distributor of almonds and almond products in the world. So, it turns out that Dole and Billy Bee are using Almond Breeze as a sales vehicle for their products. With the great current interest in smoothies (which often use yogurt as a base) and other fruit based drinks for their nutritional and popular value, apparently Dole and Billy Bee want to open up a new marketing channel using Almond Breeze as the base for fruit flavored drinks. Although I can’t blame them, it annoys me that I am being sold an Almond product, which is very high in vitamins and nutrients, as a means to get me to buy other products. It seems to have become a regular advertising gimmick to use the positive qualities of one product to sell others. What do you think of these tactics? Have you seen this done? Does it make you feel as if you are being used? Are there any other advertizing tactics that annoy you?

 

Have another cuppa and a scone, or a piece of Lemon Drizzle cake or Carrot cake. Lots of goodies, and remember, here in Willow’s garden they are all calorie free, so eat up.It’s not just manufacturers who use manipulative advertising but also big retailers. I used to work for a major discount retailer in their IT department. We shared some suppliers with Wal-Mart, so when I was tasked with investigating an IT system to deal with our increasing invoice processing problem, I covertly inquired of our suppliers how Wal-Mart was handling the issue. It turns out they were employing a system that was not feasible for us (not enough volume yet to justify the front-loaded cost) but during the conversations I came upon some information that rather made me stop and think. These wholesalers, if they were large enough, had access to some of Wal-Mart’s computer systems for inventory and re-order purposes.

Wal-Mart employs a concept they call a “basket” analysis. Every time you purchase goods at a Wal-Mart, the purchases are recorded not only as individual items, but as a part of your “basket”. They run analytics to determine if any of the purchases are common, that is to say if you buy product #1 are you more likely to buy product#2. It turns out this produces some interesting results. For instance (and this is a real example), if there are women’s hygiene products in the basket, it is more likely that there will also be women’s white sports socks in the same basket (the supplier I spoke to was a sock manufacturer). So, they leverage this information to design sales tactics and advertising campaigns. For instance they may put displays of sports socks next to hygiene products and offer a coupon that gives 20% off one if you buy the other. Or they may run an ad in their flyer that groups associated products in order to increase sales of one or the other or both.

This leaves me with a negative feeling – as if I am being manipulated into buy things that I perhaps do not need. There are those, however, who like this as they get deals on products they would buy anyway and it makes their shopping easier when the products they want are displayed next to each other in these huge stores. What do you think about this? Do you feel manipulated or do you think it is to your advantage? I would be interested in hearing your opinion. Please share if you have any other thoughts, perhaps on privacy of information or anything else that has occurred to you this week.

Would you like another cuppa? Willow and I are honored that you dropped by the garden today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please feel free to look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. We look forward to seeing you in the garden again next week.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  I would  tell you how very welcome  you are  and how much I look forward to our weekly get together, and that I do hope  they continue for a while  to come. So  for now  be well and be happy.  😀

If we were having coffee I’d ask  you : would you like another  cuppa, or  a biscuit . I’d  tell you I have really  come to enjoy  these chats  and I’d  love  to hear  what you would  tell me , If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:   I would say hi  and  welcome  come on in to the garden  I am so pleased to see you! I have had a lovely time this week, my sister  and her husband  have been to stay. We have had a lovely  time, we visited Highclere Castle ( that’s where  they film Downton Abbey) I  did a Wordless Wednesday  on Highclere.

We all had a wonderful day  there  were six of us in all and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Looking around  the gardens and the Parklands, the house and of course the  Egyptian  Exhibition. We even stopped  for Coffee, sandwiches  and cake! I had  two of  my sisters  with  me that  day  and a best  friend, it was lovely.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: The day after we went to Highclere  we had a  pub  lunch  then we all went over  and visited  the Newbie! It was so lovely  to see my eldest  sister  hold  my  grandchild. It was extra  special  too as  my daughter in law  had her  sister  visiting  with  her Newbie, only  three weeks younger  than  my  Newbie.

My  daughter in law  is breast  feeding , her  sister is  not  and her sister’s  Newbie  is  bigger  than our Newbie. There is only  three weeks  between them, our  Newbie  being  the eldest! It was great to see  the two of them giggling  and playing  with their  toys  oblivious  as yet  of each  other.  How  to you feel  about  the  the breast  verus  the  bottle  debate ?

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: I would  tell you it was our  middle  son’s Birthday  on Friday  and he came  round for dinner which was lovely, he had chosen, Cheese stuffed  chicken breast wrapped in rashers  of bacon, saute potatoes and peas in a cheese sauce. Unfortunately  he was not feeling too well so he  did not stay very  long  but at least  we gave him his card and  present  and  had a  chat.

Today  our youngest son, his wife  and the Newbie  are coming  for dinner I am stupidly  excited  about  that!!  We  are having Roast  Lamb  with  all the  trimmings   followed by  apple  and blackberry pie  and custard. OH!  would  you like some pie it is good  really  good  a variation  on the  Apple  pie  recipe I gave  you a couple of  weeks back!

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:   I explain  how excited I am that  my  favourite  artist  has a new album  coming out on  Monday and I am so looking forward  to getting it it . It  is  of course Imogen Heap and it is called  Sparks. I am really looking  forward  to  it.

I have a lot  to thank  Imogen  for  she got  me through  long , lonely   frightening  nights in hospital  when I was afraid  I might not walk again, and awkward  days  on the wards  where I was pretending to be brave. Even  when I came  home from hospital  it was her music  that  kept  me  moving  and trying to walk  and in the end  walking  and exercising! Yes Imogen  if  you ever  read  this THANK YOU!

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  I would  say  how  happy I  am that  Paul’s  posts  are  taking off  her in the garden! He  certainly  deserves  his  own blog  and I  do hope  that  one day  that  will be  possible. I do have to say  that  Paul  has a lot  to contribute  and I  am proud  to have him on  my  blog!

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: I’d  hope that  you are all enjoying  yourselves  chatting  and listening  to  myself  and Paul  it is so nice  to have  you all here to drink and eat  cake  ( calorie  free cake  that  is!!) with us.

I must  close  now as I  am very  busy  today. I  am sorry  if I am slow in  commenting  on any of  your posts or  comments  but I have had a  very  busy  few  days  and next  week  is not  much  quieter   but I  am getting  through things  as soon as I  can!!

So  please  do  comment  on Paul’s  and my  coffee  blogs  join  and chat  and if  you like  even  do  your  own posts  too!

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  I would  tell you how very welcome  you are  and how much I look forward to our weekly get together, and that I do hope  they continue for a while  to come. So  for now  be well and be happy.  😀

If we were having coffee I’d ask  you : would you like another  cuppa, or  a biscuit . I’d  tell you I have really  come to enjoy  these chats  and I’d  love  to hear  what you would  tell me , If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/

 

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