Pet Peeve #17: Discontinued Toothpaste

Sweet, sweet nectar. You refresh the expressions of life. I shall miss thee.

Have you ever found the perfect product…and then it got discontinued?

I went through most of my life using mint toothpaste, because that’s the only option that was out there (well, that and baking soda…but who wants baking soda in their mouth?). It was fine, but if you think about it, mint has a pretty strong flavor. I don’t like to taste anything particularly strong in the morning. No coffee, no crazy cereal with bumbleberries and pirates and flavor crystals…and no strong toothpaste.

So one day a few years ago I discovered a toothpaste called Crest Whitening Expressions Refreshing Vanilla Mint (CWERVM). It has a subtle, nuanced flavor, mild tanins, and just a hint of mint underlying an assaisonnement of vanilla. It’s for the sophisticated, delicate palate. It’s for the man who looks at himself in the mirror every day and says, “I’m not the kind of guy who talks to myself in the mirror.”

I’ve been using CWERVM for years, and I’ve genuinely enjoyed brushing my teeth with it.

But then, out of nowhere, Crest discontinued the flavor.

The first stage of a discontinued product is denial, obviously. So for the first week, I convinced myself that the reason I couldn’t find CWERVM on the grocery store shelves was that it was too dang popular. It had sold out, clearly.

But then I checked again the next week. Still no CWERVM. So I entered the anger stage, during which I brushed my teeth more vigorously than normal. That’ll show Crest to mess with me.

Finally I entered the stage of desperation and begging. I scoured Google for the one last existing tube of the sweet nectar that cleans my canines (incisors, not dogs). Alas, it’s gone. I can’t find it on any secondary markets. Is there a black market for toothpaste?

So basically, this is my way of saying: Isn’t product discontinuation the worst? Have you had this happen? I wish there were a way that you could quickly and easily tell a big company that you still like their product and want to buy it. Because I totally understand the discontinuation if I’m the only guy in the world using CWERVM. But if there are 500 of us or 5,000 or a million, isn’t that worth a production line?