Archive for February 12th, 2011

The Devil Gets Stunned at the Supermarket

February 12, 2011

I don’t know if I have been distracted lately or if I was just not paying attention. I have been hearing for weeks about the problems with shortages of diapers and sanitary napkins (an almost daily topic of discussion by the women in my office), but to tell you the truth, I was stunned when I went to the supermarket on Tuesday and saw all the empty or semi-empty shelves. Thinking that it was just coincidental, maybe the shelves had not been replenished from the weekend, I thought by today things would go back to normal.

No such luck, the shelves looked even worse. On the left you can see the paper products shelf, looking truly empty, only one brand of diapers available. On the right, the ready-cut  meat shelves looked depressingly empty:

On the left below, the vegetable oil shelf. It may look full at first sight, but when you look closer you realize there is only one brand today and a sign that says: “Limit one bottle per costumer”. On the right the cleaning products section also looked somewhat desertic and once again, for many products you could only find a single brand.

On the left below, a “good” shelf, that one with grains and imported can goods, lots of soy sauce and olives have reappeared on the shelves, something I had noticed was getting scarce. I guess Sushi and Gran Martinis’s can still be made. On the right, about the only healthy looking area: That of fruits, vegetables and greens. Most of this stuff is produced locally and not subject to price controls, therefore you can find plenty of almost everything, another example of supply and demand and market forces at work. Of course, these products rose in price in triple digits in 2010 as reported by the Island Canuck Index earlier.

And just as I left and was paying (No Coke in cans, but that is another story), I was greeted by this happy sign at the cashier: “Two kilos of powdered milk per person”:

How there can be shortages of a product I despise, is difficult to comprehend.

The pretty revolution at work!