Looks like o.b. brand tampons, missing from shelves for months because of an unspecified Johnson & Johnson “supply chain interruption,” are slowly making their way back into stores. The company announced back in February that they were back, and a reader saw them at their Fred Meyer in Arkansas, but by mid-march another reader said they hadn’t returned. Here it’s April and o.b.’s haven’t returned to my go-to supermarket here in Brooklyn but then I spotted these at a local upmarket pharmacy this weekend. At this point it’s a question of what suppliers your store is working with. Ask your store manager if you still don’t see them yet.
o.b.’s enjoy a devoted following. Some women prefer them because instead of lengthening when they absorb, they expand. They have no applicator, and some women just don’t like applicators and/or feel they create a clinical remove between themselves and their bodies. Also, the small, bullet shape of the o.b. line makes them easier to carry in a purse than other brands. For a testament to their appeal, look no further than eBay: at one point during the o.b. shortage, boxes were going for $119.