Today I read a great article about the food product optimization vs. consumer health in relation to the junk food in USA. There are people that really would like to change the production of food and try to change it. Good people, good engineers.
My thoughts after reading this article are following:
- Junk food is a very efficient business and very prosperous for their producers ( there are great examples in the article)
- CEO of junk food producers are not interested in healthy society and don’t understand their engineers language
- Junk food is a art of chemistry – not an art of nutrition that is needed for people.
- Junk food is everything about smell, touch, feel, sip, swirl and taste
- the food industry already knew some things about making people happy – sugar
- Product optimization has different annotations for producers and consumers. We want to have a healthy, tasty food, they want to sell more and more in efficient way.
- Sensory-specific satiety is a guiding principle for the processed-food industry. The biggest hits — be they Coca-Cola or Doritos — owe their success to complex formulas that pique the taste buds enough to be alluring but don’t have a distinct, overriding single flavor that tells the brain to stop eating
- “Discover what consumers want to buy and give it to them with both barrels. Sell more, keep your job! How do marketers often translate these ‘rules’ into action on food? Our limbic brains love sugar, fat, salt. . . . So formulate products to deliver these. Perhaps add low-cost ingredients to boost profit margins. Then ‘supersize’ to sell more. . . . And advertise/promote to lock in ‘heavy users.’ Plenty of guilt to go around here!”
And some marketing information I found:
“In the process of product optimization, food engineers alter a litany of variables with the sole intent of finding the most perfect version (or versions) of a product. Ordinary consumers are paid to spend hours sitting in rooms where they touch, feel, sip, smell, swirl and taste whatever product is in question. Their opinions are dumped into a computer, and the data are sifted and sorted through a statistical method called conjoint analysis, which determines what features will be most attractive to consumers. “
More you can find on nyt.com