Home > Marketing, Public Relations, Strategies > Dear Consumer. You’re not Expecting the Real Thing, Are You?

Dear Consumer. You’re not Expecting the Real Thing, Are You?

Egg on my faceStupidity 101. Step one: Disregard consumers in favour of profits. Step two: Damage your reputation and lose your business.

I always look forward to my weekly breakfast networking meeting. I never relax properly to enjoy a meal at meetings and for me, breakfast fuels me for the most productive part of my day so it’s pretty important. This week I singed my consumer fingers.

When I peer over the top of the venue’s Bain-marie to smell perfectly fried bacon, tomato and fluffy yellow scrambled eggs, it’s generally with half a mind and I’m not fully conscious of the food.

Slap in the Face

Not that I pile my plate up but I’m not afraid to eat and when I noticed a colleague with a slice of toast on her plate, I had to comment. Then she told me the shocker of my week. The eggs are powdered. “What the frikkadel?”

Scrutiny on Board

On closer inspection, the eggs were a solid mono lemon-coloured tone. When I make scrambled egg at home, there’s often the odd white patch where it didn’t all mix perfectly. The texture’s also different. Real egg is more…well, bouncy. Rubber eggs are rarely good but at least it’s real protein. I was aware this time that these almost melted in my mouth – in this case, bad. And then to be faced with a consumerism issue so early in the day to boot… I couldn’t digest it all.

Business No-Sense

What’s the deal with this powdered story? As a business person I’m well aware of decreasing costs in order to increase profits. That’s one thing but it’s quite another to serve rubbish to the people who give you the revenue in the first place. Why would you not look after your paying customers? In fact, why would you risk pissing them off?

People complain that healthy food tastes like cardboard. What do they think they’re eating at conference venues and hotels? Alright, it’s unfair of me to generalise but be sure that once it’s been used successfully in one venue, the news will spread and costs will be cut everywhere. Enterprise is enterprise though I do hope the top chains and upmarket venues realise the implications before agreeing to use this stuff.

Who’s Really Responsible?

In the venues’ defence, they didn’t create the product. So who did? Who is so small-minded to think the consumer doesn’t matter as long as revenue is up? That type of thinking will get a company’s reputation irreparably crunched into the gravel under screeching tyres. How is serving powder and passing it off as real food ok? Nevermind that they created it; supposing there’s a board to approve these things, what idiot signed off on it without insisting consumers be made aware of it? It reminds me of that scene in Bladerunner where they hydrate the pizza in the microwave for the family dinner. “Boy, Mom you sure can hydrate a pizza”.

History Repeats Itself

What am I saying? Look at Smash – the fake mash product in a packet. That’s been around for years. The difference is, it’s advertised for what it is and allows consumers to make a stupid decision if they want to but the information is out in the open.

Consumer on the War Path

Paying for a good venue only to be served powdered eggs makes no sense. The venue’s reputation is at stake. Why am I paying for powder when eggs is on the menu? At the very least I should be informed about it so I can make a decision accordingly.

Let’s reflect a moment on unethical consumer traps. How many times were you approached to come in and “choose your prize” only to find you’d been duped into a traumatic hour-long timeshare hard-sell? There was an outcry about it, the news spread, people were made aware of it and it died a slow death. With the internet being a perfect platform to spread information, how long will unethical practices last?

Declaration of Non-Acceptance

My decision now is to stick to the clearly identifiable items and in future, for a hot breakfast, if there’s an option, I’m ordering fried eggs. I trust you’ll do your health the same favour. If you’re reading this and feel I’m uninformed and would like to set the record straight, feel free to add your comments. I’m happy to have my story set straight in light of good news.

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