WHY DO RETAILERS COOL BEVERAGES?

It was 2008, that wonderful time when your electricity supply was cut under the name of load shedding! Cold evening meals, darker nights with a degree of romanticism for some, or downright fear for the achluophobic (you guessed it, the name for people scared of the dark). and also unscheduled braais.

It had struck me at that point i.e. the issue of cooling beverages at the point of sale. Of course I am not referring to those which need cooling for shelf-life purposes. I am referring to simple soft drinks (also known as coorink in my childhood days in PE). Why cool them at great cost and during a period when the nation was short of electrons coming out of the electric socket into which the refrigerator was plugged? Two birds – one stone: save money and help alleviate the shortage. Up until today this still happens. Go into the big supermarkets and see the number and size of the refrigerators keeping the coorink cold.

If you are like me (an ordinary 70kg man in the street), I rarely drink coorink at point of sale or soon after buying it. When going home I do not necessarily refrigerate immediately as well. You put it in the car and, if you do not go home to refrigerate immediately, it gets warm and requires end point cooling or on demand cooling at home. I think I should patent this thought and then sell it to commerce and industry.

And the lights during that period as well. I remember walking into a 7 Eleven one evening, only to be partially blinded by the intensity of all those fluorescent tubes. Could it not have been dimmed by removing a few and contribute to both the electricity shortage as well as minimize damage to my eyes.

It would seem to me that retailers missed a good opportunity to change the consumer demand for “bright” and “cold” in these two instances. You know, very similar to the way DAY ZERO was used to scare us into reducing water consumption….and now look at us, still saving!! Hopefully you are né?

It’s all about conditioning.

Larry Dolley