Muesli musings

For the past (cough) years, my basic breakfast has been yogurt, fruit and muesli. This means I've tried rather a lot of mueslis.

I've never liked the standard Alpen or its 'let's see how much loose sugar we can add' clones, and the Dorset Cereals range is way too expensive unless there's a serious discount on offer, so my current favourite is the Harvest Morn 'Luxury Fruit & Nut' which is an Aldi own brand product.

You would have thought that would make it simple to get, but one of the things Aldi do to make their stock control easier is bundle more than one product together in the same packaging and with the same barcode. In this case, the 'Fruit & Nut' (purple box) muesli is paired with the 'Fruit' (brown box) muesli. Which isn't as nice.

It's not just me who thinks so either. Typically, whenever I go into an Aldi, there are about four big boxes of the two. They started life equally split between the Fruit & Nut and the Fruit, but what's left on the shelf is almost always entirely Fruit, sometimes to the point that two boxes-worth of Fruit have been stuffed into one. If I'm lucky, the box underneath and behind the rest has a couple of Fruit & Nuts, so I buy them – you can never be sure when you'll find it again.

The downside of having the same barcode for both is that the Aldi stock control system never realises that there's a big disparity in demand. It was a similar situation with their 'not from concentrate' orange and apple juices, but they did move from 4:4 in a box to five orange and three apple, which seems to reflect real demand – there's never a huge preponderance of one or the other now. Here, it should be at least 6:2…

Two exciting* developments have happened recently. Firstly, the packet size has increased from 750g to 1kg. This means there are now fewer packets in each box, but they stand up better to being rummaged through to find the Fruit & Nut ones. They're so much better at this that I wonder if that was the reason for making the change (I should really have checked to see if the price per 100g changed, but..)

Secondly, the 'best before' dates have got more variation. Before, you could buy two packets many weeks apart and discover that both had the same 'BB' date. There were only about four of them in any year and it would jump from some date in April 2017 to 6th July 2017. Now, I have four packets in the cupboard* and they have four different BB dates, including two with 2nd Aug 2017 and one with 4th Aug 2017.

* Your level of excitement at these may vary, and almost certainly does!

** This translates to about three weeks supply. I have no idea who has a 30g portion – mine's nearer 200g.

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