Copyright 2012 by Richard Bishop
not the Editor of a great Magazine or Newspaper but sometimes, I just
can't resist editorializing. We're all quite used to not
being asked hardware questions like where the knobs will go on our
new TV sets or what and where the accessories will be on the new cars
that we buy. But, doesn't it go a bit too far when this penchant for
telling us what “we're gonna get – like it or not!”
extends even to the food we buy. So, I feel it's time to take our
"American Way Of Life" to task and show just how it is
shaped by "Marketing" in such an insidious way that we
Consumers have little to say about these things (and usually don't
even realize it). The following are two examples where the American
Public has been “taken-in” by Marketers hired
to “pull the wool over their eyes.”
famous brand of fast Rice dishes has pounded it into our heads for
years that each grain of cooked Rice has to stay separated all the way from the package, through the cooking pot, to the
Rice-bowl; either that or the Cook is a failure! This “fad”
is such "Poppycock!" Everybody who has been West of San
Francisco knows that the best Rice is "Sticky-Rice;" just
right for staying on the chopsticks in gluey clumps, resulting in a
real mouthful of delectable Rice in its best form (whether or not you
actually use chopsticks). Combine that with American Rice from
California called Blue Rose which is large, big-grained (not
long-grain) and plump, and you have the ingredients of a memorable
Asian meal. We have let the “hired-hands,” i.e., American
Marketers get away with this "hokum" for years.
now, they are trying to overtake Europe. The European Cooks are
weakening, in the face of onslaughts by the "separate grains of
Rice" advocates, as the fast Rice dish Hucksters "rev-up"
their expansion into World-wide Markets. And, they'll probably try to
tell the Asians how to eat their Rice, someday soon!
for the second example. Over the years, the Vegetable Oil Lobby
has pushed every known argument into the banning of good creamery
butter from the kitchen and the dining table. They got up to speed
(long before it became fashionable to front Healthful Living to
the American People) by leaning hard on the price difference between
Butter and Margarine.
do have to admit that for years, the Butter people had it their way
and made it hard on the Margarine people by forcing the issue of
making the consumer add yellowing dye to Margarine after
purchase so that it could not possibly be confused with Butter in the
showcase (that was a losing battle from the start and they knew it!).
But, now, in the turn-about, Butter has become the "endangered
species" and has almost disappeared as a generic word from
American TV Cooking shows. Catching up with the trends, the Margarine
advertising has been quick to jump onto "Wellness" diets
and the pointing out of the difference between "good"
Cholesterol and "bad" Cholesterol, hoping for the coup
de grâce once-and-for-all
for animal products like Butter.
happy to say that the best European cooks (who, being on the other
side of the “pond” these past years) were not
"brain-washed" by all this. They have not fallen for this
last campaign and still use Butter liberally in their dishes in their
restaurants and TV cooking shows, and probably always will.
The Irish have gone one better
and have melded all this together. Their “Irish Butter”
always is soft and quashes the competition a different way (if you
can't beat them, join them!).
In the TV Ads, the
Father of the House jumps up from the dinner table and checks to see
if the refrigerator is still working when he finds the Butter quite
soft! Their secret?
They add vegetable oil (do I hear Margarine) to their Butter; not a
lot, but just the right small amount to keep it soft whatever the
temperature. And it sells, and sells, in Europe. And that’s
because the price is right; usually always at least one penny below
the local brands of Butter.
that's real marketing; find a need and satisfy it (all the while
pricing it right). There are no “snake-oil-type pitchmen”
desired here. No trying to start “fads,” either. And no
wool to dim our vision! It practically sells itself.
won't know where to send it.)
Bishop's Biography and Story List
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