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View Full Version : Misc Spaghetti Sauce Study Changed How Food Makers Give Us Choices - A Business Lesson


|Zach|
07-13-2010, 10:01 PM
This is a fascinating video on how a spaghetti study has led to the millions of food choices we have today.

Pay attention, heck fast forward to the 6:20 mark, and see how a Harvard Genius revolutionized the food industry. Notice how when you go to buy Ranch Dressing you are confronted with 600 different options? Its because of the guy talked about in this video.


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Dealing with people's consumption and buying habits is an absolute blast. It is true that people don't really know what the hell they want. You have to be able to gather data and read between the lines. People don't know what they don't know at the end of the day.

It also touches on classic business stupidity. You see it with big companies but unfortunately it is the doom of many many smaller companies. They work so hard on their product, service, or business with assumptions they just don't know to be true. I remember in my serving days people have all these little quirks with how they like their food but they always think "their way is the normal way" which is fine if what you think of as a medium steak is medium rare we can throw it back on the grill but when you make those conclusions without knowledge in business it can be bad.

The way things are presented changes everything. Stuff that seems really simple like price anchoring. If I want to sell a 7 dollar burger it could be a challenge. Someone walks in and looks at a 7 dollar burger and says JFC no way. But it is my target I need people to buy this. So I put a 10 dollar burger on. People go JFC a 10 dollar burger no way...lets get the 7 dollar one. Not as big a deal. Bam I make the transaction I need and every now and then someone does want a 10 dollar burger. Money in the till.

Stuff like this is interesting as hell

WoodDraw
07-13-2010, 10:32 PM
I love TED. Thanks for posting...

jidar
07-13-2010, 10:34 PM
Rep for linking a TED talk which is awesome.

Yeah I hadn't seen that one before, but I like it a lot. Really I like anything that points out how faulty a typical persons perceptions are, even with something so simple and subjective as what flavors they like. This is why we have the scientific method, and more and more we are learning that it applies to everything, even something as unlikely as the flavor of spaghetti sauce.

Bearcat
07-13-2010, 10:40 PM
Whenever someone asks for a book recommendation, I tell them to start reading his books... I'm trying to find time to finish his latest, What the Dog Saw. It really is fascinating stuff, and I really enjoy his research & storytelling on marketing and education.

MoreLemonPledge
07-13-2010, 11:14 PM
Very interesting. It's amazing how the simplest ideas can change so much.

ArrowheadMagic
07-13-2010, 11:52 PM
Great video. Its a lost art in purchasing in today's retail. There's a published study....sorry no link... take it for what you will. But for every person that asks for it... there are 2 others that want it but wont ask for it. Regardless what it is. Simple study of human behavior that corporations spend millions of dollars in and never understand because its so simple.

googlegoogle
07-13-2010, 11:56 PM
Saw Al gore floating in the preview.

88TG88
07-14-2010, 12:01 AM
Why are the people laughing. None of that is funny.

|Zach|
07-14-2010, 12:06 AM
Why are the people laughing. None of that is funny.

Eh, I disagree he was setting up a story and making points through the eyes of a quirky professor. Showing his stubborn point of view and how he interpreted things. It was funny.

ArrowheadMagic
07-14-2010, 12:13 AM
Why are the people laughing. None of that is funny.

sure it is.. as a consumer... you are simple. stimulate any 2 of the senses and you are hooked. simple understanding of the mind.

ArrowheadMagic
07-14-2010, 12:17 AM
Eh, I disagree he was setting up a story and making points through the eyes of a quirky professor. Showing his stubborn point of view and how interpreted things. It was funny.


True, the story is funny because of how simple his conclusion is. His delivery of it is good, but the fro takes it too another level.

Garcia Bronco
07-14-2010, 04:57 AM
Rep for linking a TED talk which is awesome.

Yeah I hadn't seen that one before, but I like it a lot. Really I like anything that points out how faulty a typical persons perceptions are, even with something so simple and subjective as what flavors they like. This is why we have the scientific method, and more and more we are learning that it applies to everything, even something as unlikely as the flavor of spaghetti sauce.

Howards solution had little to do with the scientific method and everything to do with common sense. The studies he did were more of a tool to translate his common sense approach.

|Zach|
07-14-2010, 02:03 PM
True, the story is funny because of how simple his conclusion is. His delivery of it is good, but the fro takes it too another level.

Fro power.

blaise
07-14-2010, 02:19 PM
Fro power.

Froactive.

|Zach|
07-14-2010, 02:23 PM
Froactive.

Fropocolypse

blaise
07-14-2010, 02:27 PM
It's an interesting video, by the way. I think Gatorade is a company that really capitalized on that line of marketing. To go from sort of a smaller beverage company to one that has 15 feet of aisle space in most grocers. Part is due to people being more health conscious, but I think more because of the variety.

RJ
07-14-2010, 02:34 PM
Good stuff.

If I've learned anything after 30 years in sales, it's that what a customer says they want and what they really want are usually two very different things. When I train new salespeople I try to impress upon them that emotion is more important than products when it comes to a buying decision. It's really a fascinating thing to watch when I get the chance to step back and view the process analytically.

WoodDraw
07-14-2010, 03:36 PM
Michael Pollan talks about this a lot in The Omnivores Dilemma. Pretty interesting.

JoeyChuckles
07-14-2010, 03:49 PM
This is a fascinating video on how a spaghetti study has led to the millions of food choices we have today.

You sure know how to draw people in with your thread title and opening line.

But honestly, it was an interesting subject once you get into it.

Demonpenz
07-14-2010, 03:54 PM
of course this video can be tied into "game" or "inner game"

88TG88
07-14-2010, 06:37 PM
True, the story is funny because of how simple his conclusion is. His delivery of it is good, but the fro takes it too another level.


Ya, the fro is funny. But, it seems like the people are just laughing at chunky spaghetti sauce.

Bearcat
07-14-2010, 07:53 PM
But, it seems like the people are just laughing at chunky spaghetti sauce.

I had the same thought... some of it was funny, because of the thought that something as simple as spaghetti sauce choices made such a large impact on food choices and marketing, but at times it was like I was watching That 70s Show.

WoodDraw
07-14-2010, 07:58 PM
TED talks are always a bit quirky. One of my favorites comes from JJ Abrams.

[edit]

Link might help: http://blog.ted.com/2008/01/jj_abrams.php

Bearcat
07-14-2010, 08:09 PM
From an email I sent while back when someone first found out about Ted and asked for my favorites...

Schools Kill Creativity -- One of my favorites. If you read the Malcolm Gladwell books, he talks a lot about the need to rethink the teaching system in America, and I couldn't agree more... one of my favorite quotes is from this talk -- "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original".
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

Loss of Wisdom -- Another one of my favorites... it's about the loss of quick thinking and improvisation on the job due to the crack down on corporate rules.
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/barry_schwartz_on_our_loss_of_wisdom.html

Stroke of Insight -- A talk about a brain scientist's experience of having a stroke... needless to say, very interesting!
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

8 Secrets of Success -- A 3 minute video... a good, quick message.
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/richard_st_john_s_8_secrets_of_success.html

Twitter, by Evan Williams (a cofounder of Twitter)
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/evan_williams_on_listening_to_twitter_users.html

DaKCMan AP
07-14-2010, 08:13 PM
We've discussed this topic in my Business Marketing course. It applies everywhere, not just the food industry.

RJ
07-14-2010, 08:54 PM
From an email I sent while back when someone first found out about Ted and asked for my favorites...

Schools Kill Creativity -- One of my favorites. If you read the Malcolm Gladwell books, he talks a lot about the need to rethink the teaching system in America, and I couldn't agree more... one of my favorite quotes is from this talk -- "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original".
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

Loss of Wisdom -- Another one of my favorites... it's about the loss of quick thinking and improvisation on the job due to the crack down on corporate rules.
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/barry_schwartz_on_our_loss_of_wisdom.html

Stroke of Insight -- A talk about a brain scientist's experience of having a stroke... needless to say, very interesting!
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

8 Secrets of Success -- A 3 minute video... a good, quick message.
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/richard_st_john_s_8_secrets_of_success.html

Twitter, by Evan Williams (a cofounder of Twitter)
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/evan_williams_on_listening_to_twitter_users.html



Interesting and entertaining, thanks.

DaFace
07-14-2010, 09:03 PM
Interesting, albeit completely obvious in a way. It's amazing that people assumed that everyone had the same tastes for so long.

WoodDraw
07-14-2010, 09:04 PM
Interesting, albeit completely obvious in a way. It's amazing that people assumed that everyone had the same tastes for so long.

I think that's what makes it so incredible. Such basic beliefs that we take as being obvious once were great advancements.

jjjayb
07-14-2010, 09:28 PM
Frosho'