28 August 2011

A "Flat Taste" - Consumerism Insanity

We have a new product on the shelves!!! Wooohooo!!! “Flat Pretzel Rings” by OSEM. Of course, I was tempted to buy a bag and try them. Taste-wise, I couldn’t detect any change… on the contrary, I like the good-old kind much better. So, yet another marketing trick to raise sales. That’s what I thought to begin with. No big deal, huh? Most companies do these tricks every now and then – selling the same product but changing the packaging, the color of the package, the size of it, the shape of the product. And all just to make us consumers even more confused, and to raise sales. Well, so far so good. After all, it’s a free economic market and there’s a lot of competition out there. Not a big deal. But! What I discovered is the insane price of these periodic innovations. Here’s what OSEM had to say as a reply to the higher price of their Flat Pretzels: “In order to bring consumers the novelty of Shtuchim (Flats in Hebrew), the company invested more than 30 Million Shekels (more than 8.5 Million US Dollars) for over two years in developing the product and in establishing a new production line.” WOW! More than 30 Million NIS!!! And for what? Manipulating consumers.

In light of the Tent Protests all over Israel, demanding social justice, and the fact that in today’s “free” economic market big companies are making their profits on the backs of consumers, I have something to say here. As a person. As a consumer. As a feminist. To all these companies that believe their way to economic profit is through manipulating us:

We don’t need the same product in a new shape. We don’t need new Pretzels in a Flats shape. Instead of investing the 30 Million NIS in a new production line, why don’t you try to win my heart through socially responsible actions? I promise to buy your products if you in turn invest the 30 Million NIS back into the community. So many social change projects are waiting for your involvement in the community. And you know what? Spend some money on advertising your contribution and involvement in the community. Why not? Write on your products that you are supporting this or that social project for the welfare of this or that marginalized or disadvantaged community. And see how your sales rise. You don’t need engineers for that. All you have to do is come down from your tower and taste the life on the ground. Become socially responsible – do something for society. After all, you have 30 Million NIS to spend. For me, your 30 Million just went down the drain, and I’m not buying any more Shtuchim!


  1. white flour is bad for us anyway. bake your own or better still eat local fruits and vegetable from local growers.
    your writing is great and inspiring.

  2. well said. i am with you 100%


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