whole foods

How You're Being Manipulated at the Grocery Store

It's called priming. And it's covered by Martin Lindstrom in his new book Brandwashed.

"Dole and other banana growers have turned the creation of a banana into a science, in part to manipulate perceptions of freshness. In fact, they've issued a banana guide to greengrocers, illustrating the various color stages a banana can attain during its life cycle. Each color represents the sales potential for the banana in question. For example, sales records show that bananas with Pantone color 13-0858 (otherwise known as Vibrant Yellow) are less likely to sell than bananas with Pantone color 12-0752 (also called Buttercup), which is one grade warmer, visually, and seems to imply a riper, fresher fruit. Companies like Dole have analyzed the sales effects of all varieties of color and, as a result, plant their crops under conditions most ideal to creating the right 'color.' And as for apples? Believe it or not, my research found that while it may look fresh, the average apple you see in the supermarket is actually 14 months old."

Think About It

I read with interest this missive by Neal Gabler on the decline of thinking by the general public. So I did some thinking about it. What struck me about the article is how many times he mentioned the over abundance of information. I immediately compared the way we've learned to produce cheap content with how we learned to do the same thing with food.

Food was difficult to scale, but technology helped us to create more of it cheaply. Everyone began to feast on the quick, less nutritious stuff. As we neared the bottom of the KFC bucket, i.e, the cheap stuff proliferated, a shift began to more quality, nutrient dense food. Hence the emergence of Whole Foods.

Perhaps we'll see the same thing in content after we've gorged on all that cheap content. Some will remain addicted to the junk, but others will want cleaner colons err cortices and denser content will emerge. Which will make "thinking" more of a necessity. What do you think?