I am constantly reminded of how many product choices I had in North America. I remember standing in London Drugs staring at a wall of shampoo and conditioner, unable to choose anything because of the overwheming number of options, and finally settling on something based on price and smell.
Now in Sweden I am sometimes faced with the complete opposite problem. While it appears that there is a lot of choice, it is an illusion that is pepetuated by the big companies that have got their hooks into this country. Sure, there are humongous grocery stores out in the suburbs, and in the acres of shelves and air conditioned floors (summer only of course), there are many things to choose from, many familiar brands, and yet, and yet…
I bought an Ariel stain pen, the same thing as the Tide-to-Go stick, at the Coop in Bromma, probably back in September. I was pleased to find this product since I have a habit of dropping food related things on my clothes, pretty much every day. I showed C the magic of this pen, and he, too, was impressed as we share this battle with keeping our clothes stain free.
Then the pen went missing. And I have been searching for a replacment for weeks. Every where I go I am looking for this pen to no avail. Finally today I sent an email to the company to find out where I can buy it. I received the reply “I regret to inform you that we have stopped manufacturing Ariel Stain Pen. I hope you can find a good alternative.”
WHAT! WHY! Do you think no one in Sweden drops things on their clothes?? Now what?
And this problem extends to the lack of choice for cat food, my favourite Sun-Rype Fruit-to-go, and sun tan lotion..ok, I understand the sun tan lotion, we are having a heat wave this week, but that is not usual. But the cat food options are pretty well limited to the big big american companies…I want my organic cat food back! I also emailed Sun Rype, who told me they have no plans to sell in Europe. Then I found a similar product in the UK from Kelloggs…ah ha! I thought. So I emailed Kelloggs in Sweden…with the same basic response, we don’t sell that here. Then there is the slow cooker…ok, I will stop now. (Update December 2012. Finally, a slow cooker (or Crock Pot) can be purchased here!)
Anyway, the key thing today is to find a source of stain pens and order a tonne of them. Then sell them on the Swedish black market…anyone want to start an import business ?