Saturday, 5 May 2012

Raisin Hell

WARNING: Forthcoming rant involves dried fruit.

I woke up this morning with a craving for spiced oatmeal with raisins. Since I occasionally allow myself the steel-cut goodness, I thought that this was not an entirely unreasonable request from the bod. Vons was right next to Starbucks, so I'd grab myself a skinny latte, a pack of raisins, and I'd quickly be on my way to having a rock n' roll breakfast.

As far as strategic display marketing goes, Vons has a lot to learn. They position a tiny turnstile right in front of the bakery. This setup means that a person has to squeeze his or her way through the turnstile, and then faces the cookies. Now, I'm no retail expert, but I'd say that, if I were a person with a much larger than average posterior, I probably wouldn't feel like buying a dozen donuts after eeking my blub through that vice-like portal. I could be wrong, but, anyway, I digress.

So, on to the raisins. I sliced my way up and down every feasible aisle, looking for the dried fruit section. The baking section, I thought, might house dried fruit, or maybe the breakfast aisle. No such luck. I rooted around the fruit section, and, nothing but figs and apricots. Finally, down at the end of the snack aisle, I saw a section titled, "fruit snacks." Ohhhhhhh, okay. Right next to the fruit roll-ups and other sugary fruit-like kid treats, was the dried fruit section. I saw, Craisins, prunes, mission figs, YOGURT COVERED raisins, but...what was this, no plain ol' raisins? I was furious. How can a grocery store get by without carrying raisins? That's, like, a staple around the world. Are we so obsessed with sugars and corn syrupy goods that we can't be bothered with a traditional dried fruit? Plus, I mean, I don't eat raisins often, maybe once every 3-6 months, and the one time I have a craving, they just don't exist in the store?

Yes, I could have complained to an employee, but I didn't. I merely bought a box of Kashi oatmeal-raisin flax cookies, walked out, got my latte and went home. Two oatmeal flax cookies and a blog later, I guess the whole raisin debacle isn't that horrible, but, still, I'm astonished. Not that raisins are the epitome of healthy foods (they are very sugar loaded), but that we're teaching kids to eat them covered in sugary, fatty yogurt mixtures, or to try stuff that isn't even real fruit, is so contrary to what we now know to be nutritionally sound. If that's the norm, then, well, I'm happy to be the weirdo writing a rant about raisins.

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