And the award for this month’s most ingenious new food product goes to… Tropicana Trop50. Spotted today at the grocery store. It’s orange juice, diluted 1:1 with water (plus a few chemical additives) and sold at a higher price in a smaller container—get this—as a “light and healthy” alternative to actual OJ. Because, you know, oranges are a leading cause of obesity and ill health.
Maybe it’s obvious, but I think the point of Scott’s ire is that you could make Trop50 for half the price of original Trop by simply buying OJ and watering it down (which people in the UK actually do, even though I find it gross).
I think this is a triumph of capitalism in dark economic times. A company has found a way to sell half as much product for the same price, simply by targeting an audience who’s so in with hip new alternatives that they fall for the gimmick. It’s classic demand elasticity (or some jazzy economic term I can’t remember).
Ergo, demand elasticity is inversely correlated with waistband elasticity!
You’re right that, though the nutritional implications of the advertising copy are remarkable, I found the economic argument most compelling. Before you know it, they’ll be bottling ordinary tap water and selling it at a higher price than gasoline! Oh yeah…