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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chicken Feet Economics

Sad that endorsement from a pseudoscientific quack sells.
I was walking down the aisle of a local market and found jars of PB2 "powdered peanut butter", selling for a whopping double what a jar of regular peanut butter would sell. One can make peanut butter powder using tapioca maltodextrin, but what is this stuff? That's the genius: it's the byproduct of pressing out peanut oil from peanuts. After extracting out the more valuable and versatile ("extra virgin"?) oil, there would usually be a pile of peanut chaff to deal with. In short, the company has found a way to take a waste product, and sell it for a profit. It's just a matter of manipulating perception.

That, after all, is the point of marketing.

The historical example of this are American chicken feet (ok, "paws"). Previously discarded, profits from export of chicken paws to China pretty much props up the entire industrial poultry industry nowadays. Which only goes to show that redefining food can turn worthless junk into valuable assets.

Packaged chicken paw snack. Perfect movie companion. 

And just because you're a duck doesn't mean foie gras is all you're good for. 

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