Sainsbury’s Basics Orangeade

Dear Sainsburys Buyer People

Please take a moment to look at the photograph below.

The two on the left aren't very nice; the one on the right is and it's been withdrawn from sale.

Have you looked closely at the picture? Are you sure? Maybe you would like to look again? Feel free. I can’t wait.

Done now?

I wouldn’t normally write such letters. Being the cynical individual I am, I question just how effective letters of complaint – public or private – actually can be.

The last true success story I can think of was a letter of complaint sent to one of your competitors by an old university friend of mine (twenty years ago) after he found a fruit fly in his yoghurt. He retrieved the fly, stuck it to his bedroom window and waited for it to dry, before writing the letter to the supermarket in question, enclosing the dried fly on a piece of sellotape. The supermarket replied, offering apologies and a seemingly endless supply of vouchers for subsequent weekly shops. Us being students, we all looked on in awe.

Such success doesn’t come along that often. I figure you receive lot of complaints. You must do. You’re a big organisation. You can’t resolve all problems to the satisfaction of every complainant.

Still, I have no idea what else to do about my present ‘issue’ with your buying policy. Here’s the problem.

A few years ago me and my Chap Simon were on the lookout for a new drink. Something thirst quenching. Something not too syrupy.

We’d been Sprite fans for a long while, but when repeated attacks of gout took us to the GP, a reduction in the amount of sugary drinks we consumed was in order. We took a pragmatic approach to this and started on tasting a variety of low-calorie drinks. Most – I’d go so far as to say probably all – left a slightly odd taste our mouths. All except for the Sainsbury’s Basics Orangeade drink pictured above.

You may need to look again at the picture. Go ahead. I can wait.

You’ll notice that the Sainsbury’s Basics Orangeade bottle (the one I said we liked) is empty. That bottle is the last bottle we have. We’ve just finished it. And not only is that the last bottle we have, it is also the last bottle of the stuff purchased from Sainsbury’s in Lee, South East London. You’ll know it’s been withdrawn from sale. It is no longer available.

I have calculated that we have bought three bottles a week, every week for four years now. From a health perspective, this has not been problematic because it is as previously indicated a low-calorie drink. Neither does it represent a significant hole in my personal finances either. At 25p per bottle, the price lived up to the name of the range. Over four years we spent £156 on a low-calorie drink which quenched our thirst and helped maintain low weight. A win win situation.

Admittedly, you lovely bunch at Sainsbury’s may not have felt the same way. Based on a unit price of £1.70, buying three bottles of Sprite every week would have equated to us spending £1060.80 and you probably profiting a good deal better compared to the Basics Orangeade.

Reinstate this or I'm going to Waitrose for my weekly shop.

Anyway. That’s not really not my point. I really loved that low-calorie, thirst quenching, budget busting drink. And then you withdrew it from sale. After four years. And replaced it with two other drinks (again, pictured on the left in the picture above – take a look again if you need to, I can wait) which pale into insignificance in comparison. I mean really. They taste. Horrible.

So I was wondering. Seeing as I’ve been a loyal customer of yours for four years (really, if it wasn’t for the Basics Orangeade, I’d have committed to Waitrose four years ago), and seeing as I’ve written this blog and shared it on Twitter might you possibly entertain the idea of reinstating the Sainsbury’s Basics Orangeade line again? If not at all Sainsbury’s stores across the country, then just Lee in South East London. Because really, Waitrose isn’t that far a drive away.

With sincerest best wishes (no, really)

Jon Jacob

One thought to “Sainsbury’s Basics Orangeade”

  1. Not an isolated case: our local Tesco no longer has their low-calorie Cloudy Lemonade, to which we happily switched when their previous Premium Diet Lemonade equally mysteriously disappeared from the shelves. Their standard diet lemonade is almost tasteless in comparison, and the alternative ‘big brand’ products can cost more than twice as much.

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