EVERYBODY likes choice and it has never been better for consumers.
But there is one area where choice has been gradually diminishing over recent years.
Most people would have noticed that the shelves at their supermarket are becoming increasingly stocked with generic brands and that many of their favourite brands are disappearing.
From one week to the next, more preferred products are removed and replaced with a generic brand presented in, of course, nearly identical packaging.
Not only is the replacement product cheaper but the contents, invariably, are also quite inferior.
The stoush with milk prices is a classic example – shelves loaded with too cheap milk of a watery, short-lived nature.
The plan behind all of this is plain.
Consumers will enjoy lower prices while the big supermarket chains gradually squeeze out the competition and force producers to their knees or out of business.
Then, with their shelves loaded with boring, tasteless generic foodstuffs, the real squeeze will be applied – on the consumer.
Prices will rise and the surviving supermarket chains will have free rein over the market.
An inquiry into the activities of these companies will be very welcome.
Already Coca-Cola Amatil has put up its hand in support of it.
When a multi-national company of that size is concerned, then we all should be.