So much marketing research testing goes on in the CPG industry with food products. I just don’t get it. Sure, you can tweak a product a bit, and maybe it’s packaging, name and positioning a lot – but a product just works, or it dosen’t, and most don’t. I’ve heard a few times that something like 60,000 new products fail each year! Some products on the other hand just ‘work’, and have for years.

The other night I was watching college basketball, and was getting late after a light dinner. I shuffled to the fridge, opening the freezer out of habit, and there they were: a half box of “Thin Mint” Girl Scout cookies that I forgot about from a few weeks back. Yes! With a glass of milk (which is a rare occassion nowadays, but a prerequisite for such occassions) I plunked down and merrily proceeded with the Duke game.

My God, some, but so very few, man-made foods are as perfect as a Thin Mint. I don’t want to argue the frivolities about packaging or how cookie count has decreased over the years. They are, as is the marketing, sales, and channel distribution processes behind them (i.e. “cookie master?”), the perfect packaged food. They are, I will say, my favorite food on earth.

And no guerilla marketing/crowd sourcing/viral campaign can match the sheer veracity of three 10 year-old steely-eyed girl scouts, uniforms replent with merit badges, with a table of cookies in front of a Loews on a Saturday afternoon….

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