Sunday, June 15, 2008

Consumer education statements

I know not to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, so I got a quick snack from a drive-thru. Taped to the mic was a notice about the tomato salmonella scare. I then went to the grocery store and saw another statement taped to the shelf about world rice prices. I can't remember the last time I saw one of these consumer education statements, let alone two in one day. I can't help but wonder what it means.

What it says is certainly about the management of these businesses. They were either expecting questions or concerns. If we were to assume they were right to expect such things, then it says something about the customer as well. Perhaps the customer has changed. Perhaps the customer is now more accustomed to having things as he expects them, and needs to be educated out of it when shocks happen. Or perhaps the market is more volatile and the customer need to be educated about it. That sounds right to me.

The world food market is becoming more integrated. When everything connects shocks have effects with larger breadth and depth. I'm foreseeing a world where I get ever less news from my television and ever more news from my super market.

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