Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Stale Chips and Other Reasons Why We Should Rethink The Way Companies Operate

I woke up this morning with an intense craving for salsa, the kind that leads you sprinting for the kitchen with eyes still bleary and a lack of balance that sends you bumping into walls. Usually I make my own chips, but this morning cried urgent hunger so I reached into the back of my pantry and grabbed a bag of tortilla strips I'd bought a few weeks ago out of laziness and should have thrown away.

But like I said, I wanted salsa. And if you know me, you know my combination of an iron stomach and twisted, stubborn hubris means I'll eat just about anything no matter how weird it smells or old it seems. And so I started eating.

The salsa was everything I'd dreamt of (literally, a salsa dream is what started this all), but the chips, they were a different matter entirely. And as I chewed I had a bit of an epiphany. Why should chips get stale? The answer is, they shouldn't have to.

It's not like chips are made of organic ingredients and real corn. They're practically crunchy chemicals, yet no one has solved the stale problem? It seems counterintuitive. Counterintuitive unless you're the chip company aiming to earn as much money as possible from families who will either devour your chips or buy a new bag the second the chips lose their crunchy freshness.

And so I wonder: Will it ever become truly integral for brands to tap into the entirety of their resource base in order to give us a product that's top of the line, as best as it can be for consumers?

Will we all ever truly be on the same team where win-win isn't a rare choice but a standard business practice? And if that were to occur how would innovation change? Most of all, how unstoppable could we be?


Bring the house to shambles with the dancing you'll do to Finn Riggins, a band best suited for fans of Matt and Kim and other fast rock.


Lauren Proctor said...

This article and the development of Goodness500 provide an interesting addition to this conversation: http://adage.com/goodworks/post?article_id=138752