How to sell more cheese? Hide it!
We continue to understand the history of cheese and obesity. Having learned how to produce "fast" and cheap cheese, the dairy industry had to figure out how to make people eat it in large quantities. The discovery of nutritionists played into the hands of marketers: a person may refuse sweets - but not fat ones.
Less milk? No matter how wrong!
By 1985, many have tried to avoid fatty foods, especially dairy. This movement was headed by women and girls. In 1988, food stores sold for the first time more milk with reduced fat content than whole milk. The dairy industry choked in the surplus of whole milk, as well as fat, which was removed when it was processed into skimmed milk.
In nature, cows cannot produce skim milk. They give only whole, so that fat has to be removed and stored somewhere. In addition, before dairy cows grazed on pastures, on each farm there were not so many of them, and milkmaids took care of them. Now on a dairy farm for 500-2000 cows bred by artificial insemination, there is one employee. Industrialization and a new diet consisting of grains and fats, turned the dairy cow into a phenomenal producer. Once these animals gave about 6 liters of milk per day, while modern cows can produce up to 25 liters.
You may ask: if the consumption of milk began to decrease, then why shouldn't dairies reduce production instead of constantly increasing its volumes? However, dairies in the United States are different from ordinary companies. Since the 1930s, the federal government has seen milk as a vital product for the health of the nation and is doing everything to ensure that industry does not decline.
As a result, the dairies did not have any marketing concerns characteristic of healthy commercial competition. They did not have to worry about overproduction, the target audience, or any other demand-creating problems that other food companies face. The government simply bought everything that the dairy industry produced.
Mountain milk fat
Since cows give more milk than they need, and from what consumers wanted, fat was removed, the industry in the US made an ingenious decision: to put unclaimed milk and extracted fat into something else. In this case - in the cheese. When cheese production increased dramatically, the dairy industry could not worry about selling cheese. All that did not take the shops, bought the government, citing the need to subsidize the industry.
Cheese, along with excess butter and powdered milk, accumulated in storage. By 1981, it was already more than 850 tons. Every day new trucks arrived, and a mountain of milky fat grew faster than national debt. Storage costs have risen to a million dollars a day.
In 1983, a sympathetic Dairy Congress Congress worked out a solution. He created a system aimed at increasing the consumption of dairy products. In accordance with this plan, the federal government taxed all milk producers with a lightened tax so that the money saved would go towards developing marketing schemes that would make milk and cheese more attractive to consumers.
There was only one question left: why would people who do not drink full fat milk eat more fatty cheese? They simply had no choice.
How to sell people more cheese?
Marketers have found the reason why those who do not want to drink whole milk willingly consume fatty cheese. It has a property that milk does not have: it is less associated with heavy food. Yes, cheese is full of fat, especially saturated, leading to heart disease. But one of the main paradoxes of dietetics is that bad, saturated fat does not look and does not taste like fat. At room temperature, it remains solid because it is bound to protein molecules and hidden from view.
The managers thought: why not adopt a marketing strategy developed for another product: soda? If Coca-Cola was able to increase sales by targeting those who already drank a lot of cola, then why shouldn't Kraft do the same for cheese? Managers even borrowed Coca-Cola-specific vocabulary, calling cheese lovers "intensive consumers."
In the internal memorandum on tactics, managers of the cheese department revealed their strategy: “These products are intended for those who usually eat cheese, especially intensive consumers,” the document said. - Advertising will be directed to women who often buy in stores, who intensively consume processed cheese, providing 67% of its total sales. In the text, the new processed cheese Crockery is positioned as a completely new way to get pleasure: new cheese flavors that fit any food. ”
Crockery sales even exceeded expectations. Kraft understood: cheese can not only compare in popularity with sweets, but even bypass them.
People have a sweet threshold. We love sugar in food only up to a certain limit, and then our addictions change and sales fall. This is the famous point of bliss that nutritionists study and analyze. But cheese is another matter. It contains fat, and Adam Drewnowski from Seattle and other nutritionists have found that the more fat you eat, the more we like it. This means that cheese can be added to other products without worrying that customers will not like it. On the contrary, extra fat will increase the attractiveness.
Cheese - on each shelf of the supermarket
Most of Kraft's work in this area has been associated with the famous product Macaroni & Cheese. He was known to the world as a “blue box” (according to the color of the product packaging), sold for only 1 dollar 19 cents and was well divided. But after adding 18 new options, most of which had a lot of cheese, the “blue box” entered the club of elite brands with sales of $ 300 million a year. The lineup included Potatoes & Cheese, Pasta & Cheese and Rice & Cheese.
Of course, Kraft's decision to use extra cheese as bait for buyers forced other food producers to take action. Analytical company Packaged Facts, which investigated this "gold rush", said: "It seems that raw foods can be found in any aisle of the supermarket."
But the main chaos was created in the frozen food sector. Previously, frozen pizza contained less cheese: manufacturers have always been looking for a way to save on cost. However, the new mathematics canceled all previous calculations. The more cheese, the better the pizza sells, and the better it sells, the more you can increase the cost. Kraft and other companies brought to the market frozen pizza with two, three and four different cheese flavors, including blue, and then began to add more cheese to the dough. By 2009, frozen pizza was already selling for $ 4 billion a year.
Since manufacturers used cheese as an ingredient, its consumption volumes soared, and almost no one even noticed. Even consumer advocates, who are constantly trying to persuade people to healthier foods, have overlooked the dangers of cheese. Almost every year the record was broken. The average American ate 5 kg of cheese in 1970, 8 kg in 1980, 11.3 kg in 1990, and 13.6 kg in 2000. In 2007, this figure reached 15 kg.