Merch Table: Disposable Bag Dispensers Are Not Just For Dog Owners

Part of planning for the Sunday Surf Party and CD Release included making sure that Lava Pups merchandise made it out of the tub for a change.  We really have not habituated that . . . yet.  Our merchandise includes a disposable bag dispenser.  The consensus is that that is unique as band "merch."


At our Saturday morning post-run “stitch and bitch” session, the Wiki Weekend Warriors seemed amazed that the Lava Pups disposable bag dispensers had been a big hit at a recent baby shower.  While shopping for a shower gift, Becky noticed that disposable bags -- formerly known as “poop bags” -- were on display in the baby department.  The celebrated mother-to-be seemed delighted with receiving a couple of our dispensers.  And one of the guests gushed about how useful a handy supply of disposable bags was to parents of infants.

After we semi-exhausted -- as guys at any age are prone to do -- issues relating to the disposal of dog waste, the conversation turned to both esoteric and practical matters.  “Are the bags biodegradable?”  “They are in all states except California.”  That, of course, led to a right-left -- conservative pitted against liberal -- discussion of environmental protection or restrictions in California.  It was pretty much an exercise in futility by the extremes on the two sides of the issue.  “Why does California thwart industrial progress and economic growth with unreasonable environmental restrictions?”  “Why don’t you move to Texas, where raping the environment is entirely legal and expected?”

We then shifted to something more solvable.  “What is the price for your dispensers?  And how does that compare with Target?”  The second question was a great question which obviously would require market research. 

“I’ll go by Target on the way home.” 

“You can go to Pet Extreme up the street.” 

“But I won’t get to see what is being sold for babies or what the low price alternative is.”

My market research showed that Target offers disposable bag dispensers in two departments -- babies and pets.  They are not the fashionable “Bags-on-Board” models sold at pet stores.  Rather, the Target dispensers are fairly generic.  The dispensers for babies appear to be indistinguishable from those for pets.  The only readily apparent difference is pricing.  Your basic dispenser in the pet department is $1 more than in the baby department.

Obviously, Target views pet owners as suckers who are prone to spend more money on their “fur children” than real children.  Becky has observed more than once that her Mom’s dog is treated better now than Becky was as a child.  Times change!

Now you may think that Target somehow is not Earth-friendly because it sells all kinds of Chinese-manufactured goods.  We also know that Chinese-made bags are not biodegradable in California.  But you could be wrong just a tad about Target.  Because pet “stuff” -- we are keeping this P.G. -- is not accompanied by diapers, wipes, and other environmentally unfriendly accoutrements, bags which meet California’s standards for biodegradable are available at Target.  They are made from corn starch right here in the good old U.S.A.  And Target had the biodegradable bags prominently displayed.

That means that purchasers of Lava Pups disposable bag dispensers have a source for California-compliant bags.  And we can display the California-compliant bags with a "go green" sign on the merch table.

Oh, yeah, our market research confirmed that our dispensers are more expensive than those sold at Target.  When asked about that by one of the guys on Sunday morning, I responded, “We’re talking about generics versus customs . . . fashionable versus pedestrian . . . Target versus Nordstroms . . . Hyundais versus Mercedes . . . and we charge twice as much.”

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