High Points: Marketing plans
Before the Covid, I used to hear the term marketing and think it meant “the manner in which products are packaged, branded and sold.” You, know, marketing.
But now the term marketing has come to mean, “planning and executing a shopping trip to the grocery store.” Oh, I know, it is a word that has a double usage, but never before have I sat down and executed a “marketing plan” for when I went to super market like I do now. Pre-Covid, or PC as we call it around my house, our shopping trips were pretty much seat of the pants, based on what we wanted for dinner that evening and what junk food looked good at any given time.
As I write this I have just returned from a visit to the El Jebel City Market and I can tell you it more closely resembled a planned strike force mission than a casual, “what do you feel like for dinner honey?” trip to the local store.
These days we begin the marketing plan the night before, plotting out just what we think we need for the coming month. Then we make a map of the supermarket, designating which aisles to go to find the components of the list. We get our masks on, take our Clorax Wipes out, coordinate a time shortly after the senior citizens hour, but just before the lunch crowds begin to gather, and head out on our marketing mission. It’s exhausting.
Yesterday was the third major assault we have made on the markets, and checking my maps, which I have dated, we went on the 11th of March, the 12th of April and now the 14th of May. There is symmetry to the dates; basically we now know that we can shop for a full month before the need arises to plan another mission.
I must say City Market was in the best shape I have ever seen it. The floors had been cleaned, social distancing tape was on the floors, carts had been wiped with disinfectant, everyone we saw wore a mask, and with few exceptions the shelves were well stocked. We even got toilet paper. It looked like they had hired a number of new staff members, as there was an army of people stocking the shelves and at the check out stations behind their plastic barriers.
I can’t tell you how thankful I am for all of those people who are toiling in our supermarkets right now. Just go through the entire food chain and consider all of the workers who are facing the exact same challenges we have but are showing up for work daily so that we can maintain some semblance of normalcy in our lives.
I remember complaining about not being able to find this or that in the stores PC, but now, and forever, my outlook and perspective has been changed. It may be cliché, but the people in our markets are truly deserving of our thanks.
“2023 predicted to be the Vintage of a Lifetime in Napa Valley,” proclaimed the headline this week in a press release sent out by the Napa Valley Vintners, the trade organization that represents the growers and producers in America’s most famed wine region. If there is anyone more optimistic than winemakers, it is the group that represents them.