Tag Archives: tom’s of maine

Lame Adventure 225: Impulse Purchase

If I were inclined to access my inner weasel, I would blame Hurricane Irene holding me hostage in my apartment for almost the entirety of last weekend combined with the public transit shut down for my subsequent erratic behavior this week.  What did I do that was erratic?  I impulsively purchased a three pack of goat’s milk soap for $5.79 (excluding sales tax).  Every so often I walk into a store and it’s my turn to be bitten by that nasty little money-sucker, the impulse-shopping bug.  I’ll admit it, I don’t think Irene was a factor at all.

I had purposely gone to my grocer’s (Fairway on the Upper West Side) organic food department to purchase a tube of desperately needed toothpaste.  My preferred brand is Tom’s of Maine Whole Care Peppermint Gel.  Fairway sells this toothpaste for $3.99, a very good price for this product with its ever-inflating cost off-setting its ever-shrinking tube size (one of my pet peeves along with the announcement “new packaging” since that almost always means the consumer is paying more for less).  Before I entered the toothpaste aisle my eye caught the site of the friendly-faced goat on the soap’s wrapper.  If a three pack of soap could talk, I could almost hear it calling me by name.

Hi Chump!

This soap mesmerized me as much as porn surely intrigues a prison inmate.  I simply could not stop staring at that goat.  To fellow shoppers I must have looked either hypnotized or stoned, but I was neither (I like to think).

Quickly, I snapped out of my trance, went to the toothpaste aisle, and grabbed a tube, but before I could take my place in the checkout line, I could not control the urge to return to the goat’s milk soap section.  Possibly I was considering how much I enjoy eating goat milk cheese.  Being extremely lactose intolerant, I avoid cheeses made with cow’s milk unless they’re so sharp they taste like barbed wire.

This soap is so special it even impairs judgment.

When I noticed that this soap is available in my favorite fragrance, unscented, for people like me with extra sensitive pelts; that sealed the deal.  I entered the store only intending to buy just a single tube of toothpaste at the cheapest price I can find and exited with both that toothpaste and a three pack of soap made from the milk of a barnyard animal selling to the tune of almost $6.

I just hope this soap will be kinder to me than the juicer I impulsively purchased seven years ago, five years before I was diagnosed with esophagitis, gastritis and a hiatal hernia, prompting my gastroenterologist to advise me to delete all citrus beverages from my diet immediately since they were searing a hole the size of a dinner plate through my guts.

I did that to you?

Eventually, I will pass the juicer onto one of my friends.  Do I have any takers amongst the three most likely candidates – Martini Max, my sidekick, Greg, or you, Albee?  I might even toss in a bar of goat’s milk soap to sweeten the deal if one of you agrees to haul that suicide machine out of my sanctum sanctorum.

Lame Adventure 179: Insult in a Tube

A creature of habit, I have brushed my teeth at least twice daily ever since early childhood.  My brother, Axel, liked to say that I shot off my mouth so much, I must have brushed with gunpowder.  When I was a small fry, my toothpaste of choice was my mother’s, Crest.  In my teen years I switched to Colgate because Axel bought into the myth that Crest’s parent company, Proctor & Gamble, was linked to the Church of Satan due to a controversy surrounding P&G’s former logo.

Devil worshipper logo?

Looking back I now think that links to the devil would have inspired heathens like Axel and I to not only continue brushing with Crest but to purchase P&G stock.  In the early 2000’s I went granola and switched to Tom’s of Maine because my then dentist, when I had dental coverage, suggested it would help me hang onto my remaining natural teeth longer.  It has thus far.

Unfortunately, in 2006, 84% of Tom’s was bought out by Colgate-Palmolive to the tune of $100,000,000 and it’s been downhill ever since as they scramble to make massive profits.  Once Tom’s was taken over by this corporate behemoth, the packaging has gotten flashier but the product within has been steadily shrinking.  What used to be a 6-ounce tube was gradually reduced to 5.5 ounces.

The good old days of Toms ... February 2011.

Much to my horror, when I went to the store on Monday to buy my most recent tube of Tom’s the packaging had shrunk an additional  8/10 of an ounce to a paltry 4.7 ounces.

The incredible shrinking toothpaste.

At this rate of 1.5-ounce reduction every three years, a tube of Tom’s should be reduced to approximately a .2-ounce size by the year 2020.  The approximate $5 price per tube continues to hold steady.  How considerate.

One of corporate America’s favorite ways to bitch-slap the consumer is to repackage less product for the same price, so the allegedly unknowing spending fool is paying more for less as the fat cats in charge just get fatter.  Tom’s spins itself as being a healthier product that’s good for both the user and the environment, even though since it was taken over by a cluster of greedy suits in a boardroom, it is now one of the biggest poster children representing the worst of transparent corporate greed.  The board of directors at Tom’s may not worship Satan, but they’re influenced by a far worse devil that’s forever ripping off the consumer and making record profits, big oil.

Tom’s web site boasts a ten-page “Find Answers” section where they discuss everything from if the stock is publicly traded to does the new tube signal a formula change.  Nowhere is the question addressed about why the product is continually shrinking but it still costs the same.  Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to ask and answer this question with Tom’s mint-flavored spin.

Why do you keep decreasing your tube size and not your price?

Our decreased tube size gave us the opportunity to improve the amount of space inside our recycled cardboard box to better meet our consumer needs!  The toothpaste inside all of our decreased tubes still delivers the same great brushing experience you have come to expect from Tom’s of Maine.  Nothing else in the formula has changed, just the size.  Enjoy less as you pay more you tree hugging sucker.

A tool of corporate greed, Sheryl Crow. My hero(ine), Patti Smith, probably would have told them to perch on it had they asked her.