Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Prepared foods

with 2 comments

I was picking up some things for GOPM, and I noticed that prepared foods are starting to show up where previously one saw only raw foods. Thus raw foods have less space. I suppose, given that prepared foods, regardless of the health drawbacks, make more money for the company, so eventually we’ll see the raw foods eliminated, with the usual comment, "Oh, nobody asks for that any more," usually said to someone who is in fact asking for it.

In this case, a quarter of the bin that once for used for prepackaged meats (raw bison, raw beef, and the like) has now been given over to things like boxed lamb stew, already prepared. It looked awful, but…

Written by LeisureGuy

31 January 2011 at 2:50 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Food

2 Responses

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  1. Your observation is quite accurate. For example, potatoes that have already been pre-cut and washed, packaged and ready to be microwaved and then eaten directly or mashed. A whole slew of raw meats (chicken, pork, etc.) sitting in some marinade ready to be grilled or baked. The list goes on forever.

    It is what manufacturers call “adding value” and is a fundamental business principle: You add a little of something for which you can charge disproportionally more. A raw potato is only worth “X” and is a function of supply and demand. Take a raw potato, add 5 cents of labor to clean and package it (the added value), and you can charge X + 5 cents + 50 cents (the perceived added value for the time it saves the consumer).

    I’m not against it in principle because it does meet the needs of certain market segments; if people didn’t want it they wouldn’t buy it. BUT…you are absolutely right that it does displace raw foods since there is only limited shelf-space.

    And, we are of course challenged by the age old dilemma: Do businesses (and the media) simply reflect culture, or do they create it? For example, does the creation and existence of these types of foods simply reflect consumer demand or do they in fact play to base human tendencies to laziness and therefore change the very nature of how we eat?

    Steve

    1 February 2011 at 4:08 am

  2. It just occurred to me that “added value” is a phrase like “collateral damage”: a euphemism for something really quite bad. The removal of natural foods from the market is not a good thing at all.

    Anyone who’s been in marketing KNOWS that businesses work their asses off to create culture. You know that, I’m sure. Take a look at the entertainment industry for the most obvious examples. You even have a mantra about the degree to which businesses are untrustworthy—something about not being able to protect yourself against entire battalions of marketers and businesses devising ever better ways to trick and cheat us.

    LeisureGuy

    3 February 2011 at 8:14 pm


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