something interesting

Our wants, needs, and times,
They are a'changin, but can
We really skimp

So what is it that sells well in a recession? I was reading an article in this week's Time that addressed specifically that question. It gives answers that you might expect: canned goods and fresh produce, for instance. It also gives answers that you might not expect: family planning (mainly condoms) and "seasonal general merchandise," whatever that is (they say that it includes things like road salt, decorations, Valentine's gifts, etc., but I just think it's a silly term).

What doesn't sell well? A lot of people have stopped buying junk food as much, according to this article, including cookies and ice cream. They've also cut back on purchasing... feminine hygiene products?? In the physical magazine, though apparently not on the site, there is a chart of the top 20 best-performing items and the bottom 20 worst-performing items. The unit sales of feminine hygiene products has dropped 12.6% since last year. Now, how the hell do you cut out 12.6% of your use of that stuff? I wonder if more of the population is turning to transgender surgery? Perhaps there is more job security if you are a man? I don't understand. A friend speculated that perhaps it also is related to the fact that the Baby Boomers are now going through menopause, but I don't feel like that could account for more than 12 percentage points of noise. That's plain crazy.

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