Continuing my occasional quest for examples of disappointments in supermarkets, I have found a new example of the import-cheap-product-at-all-costs approach to retailing.
What do you think I found?
1. Canned corn
2. Artisan bread
3. Exotic mushrooms
4. Rubbery balls of mozzarella
5. Tomato sauce
Can you guess? Can you? Can you?
In Australia, we're familiar with US cherries out of season. We know some local brands of chocolate are imported in part from New Zealand. And some local biscuit products now come from factories in China.
I've got past my surprise at seeing that Woolworths/Safeway "Select" chocolate biscuits are from New Zealand (and I think the Coles supermarket house brand biscuits are from Scotland). Such a pity the supermarkets' drive to stuff higher-margin house branded goods onto their shelves is so clearly at the cost of local manufacturers and producers.
So what next?
Ladies and gentleman, I present my first piece of evidence.
A seemingly innocent display of fancy breads. They look quite appetising.
They come to you direct from the USA.
I don't know about you, but at first sight, my brain refused to process the label. "Why are they bothering to tell us the origin of the cheese?" I thought to myself. Nope. Silly. The bread. Woolworths/Safeway is importing its "artisan bread" from across the Pacific Ocean. I wonder how many cents the USAmerican manufacturer managed to undercut a local baker by in order to win the contract! Was it really worth transferring business to an overseas producer for a product we can make very well at home?
Do any readers have other examples of stunningly stupid imports? (Please ignore (un)seasonal fresh produce issues, as they already receive a fair bit of attention.)