SEVERAL MAJOR BRANDS ARE ABANDONING THE CANADIAN MARKET, AND THE REASONS SEEM NEBULOUS
I’ve never been quite sure what “the market” really is. But I’ve read over and over again that it decides a lot of things. What does well and what doesn’t. What businesses succeed and, well, don’t. I’ve heard even more about how well the market is doing, or how the world is about to end. But no matter what, all of these things that the market does or doesn’t do seems to be an injected meme intended to design our notions of reality. And now, for whatever reason, “the market” situation has several major brands abandoning the Canadian market.
BRANDS LIKE KLEENEX, DIGIORNO PIZZA AND LEAN CUISINE WILL BE NO MORE IN CANADA
But why? There doesn’t seem to be any real explanation. Retailer Target tried and failed rather miserably to establish any kind of footprint in Canada. That could have been timing, with the pandemic shrinking middle class bank accounts and making Canadians shy to shell out extra shekels to an unfamiliar store. So maybe Target didn’t abandon Canada so much as it left with its tail between its legs for easier American dollars. But that doesn’t explain brands like Lean Cuisine, DiGiorno pizza or the bellwether, Kleenex. They are literally leaving the Canadian market and the reasons are either not coming or they don’t make sense.
HAS SOMETHING CHANGED IN THE CANADIAN MARKET, WITH MORE BRANDS TO LEAVE?
But Kleenex, which is a brand so associated with soft tissue that it has lawyers constantly fighting to protect its trademark, is literally abandoning Canada. They say that they’ve been wiped out by generic competition in Canada, and said something about supply problems. Kleenex sells all across the United States, and driving a truck north or slapping a container on a train doesn’t seem to be all that hard. Plus, Kleenex has been selling their products in Canada for literally decades. So why are they leaving? It doesn’t wash. Something has changed and no one is telling us what it is.
But Kleenex (Kimberly-Clark), Lean Cuisine and DiGiorno Pizza know. And we don’t know how many others are to follow for the same, elusive reason. Or what it means.