“How Do You Get People to Crave” – Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan’s article starts with discussing Dr. Peppers and its effort to compete with other high-in-sugar soft drinks. The company had a few failures and struggles meeting the customers needs. A line extension, a flavor called Red Fusion, fell short when it came to taste requirements. Pollan then discusses Dr. Pepper’s marketing techniques as well as every other products’ you can find in a grocery store. There are line extensions which is adding new flavors and colors to create products that get there own space alongside the household brands such as, Coke and Pepsi. There is also intense target marketing of shoppers. Companies are constantly varying their mainline products with changes of packaging, size, color, and endorsements by celebrities. Another marketing strategy of the food industry is altering the salt, sugar, and fat of the product.

Dr. Pepper’s lead consultant, Moskowitz , claims to search for just the right amount of certain ingredients to generate the greatest appeal among customers. Using high math and computations, he engineers them with one goal in mind: to create the biggest crave. Moskowitz uses a statistical method called conjoint analysis when collectively identifying what variation of taste, smell, texture, etc. in a product will be most attractive to consumers. So essentially, what we are eating is carefully designed to be made of things our bodily chemically likes. This is crazy to think about. To know that the reason a bag of chips is the color it is and the amount of salt in them will excite my tastebuds just the right amount so I will buy the product is creepy and seems like a trick.


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