Imagine you are the head of a big company like Colgate or Persil or something like that.

You have one product, toothpaste or washing powder in their case, but then someone in your employ comes up with something a bit better - in the same line of product but it’s a toothpaste that helps prevent cavities better than the original did, or it’s a washing powder that helps prevent your colours fading better than the original.

What to do - do you simply replace your existing product with the new one?  Or do you keep making the old one, and simply put the new version on the shelves alongside it?

Judging from the wide array of toothpaste and washing powders on display at Tesco, etc the latter option seems to be the way to go.

And I can’t understand why!

Why would people continue to buy the older, inferior, product?  Is this move to simply pacify those who don’t like change, or is there another reason?

Personally if I was in charge of Colgate and someone informed me that we had developed a new toothpaste that would prevent cavities, destroy plaque, promote whiter teeth and decrease bad breath then I would be throwing the formula for the old paste in the bin and cranking up production of the new stuff.

This kind of thing doesn’t happen with products like dog food - you don’t see different versions of Pedigree Chum for example (apart from different flavours obviously), they simply update it by saying it has a “new and improved recipe”.

Fair enough, make toothpaste with as many different flavours as you want, but please change buying a tube from the ten minute decision making process it is now and get back to there being one kind of Colgate, one Aquafresh etc.

I don’t want to have to choose between a toothpaste which will give me 24 hour plaque prevention, a nice flavour, whiter teeth or whatever - just stick it all in the one tube!