Disappearing Yogurt

Albums keep getting longer and every time I crack a Dannon yogurt…I find less inside.

How would you feel if you were a heroin addict and Afghanistan switched to producing cocaine? Or if the Yankees still occupied their stadium, but they now played soccer? Pretty disillusioning, wouldn’t you think?

Man, I’m in withdrawal. The food staple of my life, Dannon coffee yogurt, is disappearing from the shelves. It’s like end of times. Going from market to market. With all the clerks telling me it’s gone, and I’m one of the clamoring masses still looking for it.

You see the company’s gone all Jamie Lee Curtis on me. Promoting their Activia brand. Which comes in Lilliputian containers and must be consumed slowly, like brandy, because in just one or two teaspoonfuls, it’s history.

Not that I want it anyway. It’s just that I need a delivery system for my trail mix.

I discovered this in Utah. Jimmy bought a plethora of nuts and a bunch of yogurt and we all lived on it just for one day. But I got hooked, like the kid who smokes marijuana once and decides to go on to harder stuff. Yup, I’ve got a friend who’s tried crack, he’s done everything, he likes experimenting on his vacations, but me, I do nothing, because I know one hit and I’m toast.

I tried everything. Until I settled on Dannon vanilla.

Then I burned out on that, and discovered Valhalla, the exquisite elixir known as Dannon coffee yogurt.

It’s a cult. Like the Moonies. Either you’re a member or you can’t understand. It’s like no yogurt you’ve ever eaten before. There’s no fruit, no stirring, just a concoction that’s akin to ice cream, but is much better for you.

But now there’s only one market where it’s available. And it’s nowhere near my house. And I’m wasting time driving there only to discover the shelves have been picked clean, by other addicts.

And I’m thinking about going cold turkey. But I still need a mixer for my nuts.

Which led me to the fad of the day, GREEK yogurt. Have you tried this stuff? It’s got double the protein, but has the consistency of paste. And the best brands come with a little jelly next door, in a separate compartment, which you must reach in and mix yourself. I tried it, I don’t like it.

So hunting for Dannon coffee yogurt in the one place that I used to get it and hadn’t checked yet, I found they no longer carried it either but they had Dannon Oikos, the company’s Greek model, I decided to try it, I mean I need something.

And I crack a container…

And there’s nothing there!

It’s like going to Crater Lake and finding a puddle. Like lifting the cover of your swimming pool and discovering it’s only half full. Talk about a buzzkill.

And this doesn’t seem possible. I start scouring the container, looking for an indicator of its contents.

I turn it round and round until I discover there’s 5.3 ounces of yogurt.

5.3?? I remember when it used to be 8! I could handle the reduction to 6, well not really, but what comes next, a container with an eyedropper’s worth?

I mean I get it.

Dannon is putting all this advertising behind Activia. And they’re paying the supermarkets to shelve it. So they decide independently, with no research, to clear out coffee, and then they reduce the contents but not the size of the container figuring you won’t notice.

It’s like they’ve never heard of New Coke.

First and foremost satiate your EXISTING customers before you try and get new ones!

No regular yogurt customer is switching to Activia. They’ve already got their favorite. And coffee is a cult, I buy a box at a time, at a minimum.

But now I can’t get any at all.

As Dannon hurtles towards the cliff.

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