Like red wine and grass-fed steak, good-quality chocolate is one of those decadent treats that miraculously manages to be healthy (within reason, of course). Leave it to the food producers of America to mess up a good thing.
I just happened upon a terrific food processing news blog run by one Dean Best. He reports that Guittard, a fine chocolate maker, is trying to get consumers inspired to fight new regs that would allow milk substitutes and cheap vegetable oils in chocolate. The reason? African cocoa production is down, so rather than let profits suffer for a few quarters, food producers would rather give you a lesser product.
You see this all the time – toilet paper is famous for getting thinner and lower in quality as the prices continue to rise. There are hundreds of examples, but in general, sleazy companies desperate to keep profits up will either pass on the expense to the customer or reduce the product’s quality – or both – rather than finding other ways to cut costs. “Sleazy” might seem like a strong word, but it’s deserved.
Here’s an idea: make a product that’s so good, you can’t help but succeed. (Or, just keep blaming the marketing department.)
You loyal readers know I almost never mention my own supplement company, Primal Nutrition. For one thing, I believe the products speak for themselves. For another, the purpose of this blog is to provide an insightful, enjoyable health community, whether you’ve ever been a customer or not. But this time, I do have to say something about this entire issue of short-changing the consumer, because I’ve proven a company can be an ethical exception to the rule of sleaze. There’s just no excuse – period – for short-changing customers. In ten years, I’ve never raised prices on my signature product, the Damage Control Master Formula, despite major production cost increases. I regularly update the formula based on new research, and over the years, I’ve continuously increased the quality and value. I make less money, but the funny thing is, by putting customers first, Primal has continued to flourish – more than ever.
Don’t be messin’ with my chocolate!