A friend of mine, Pete, and I were discussing consumer behavior and analytical techniques marketers use to drive purchasing. If you hadn’t already guessed it, yes, we are both MBA’s (Makes “B” Average, as somebody once pointed out). Anyway, we started talking about a recent interview on Fresh Air (NPR) which talked about exactly this topic, one example in which involved Target (correctly) predicting that a 16 year old girl was pregnant based on her behavior and sending her coupons for products of interest to pregnant women. This, of course, earned the ire of her dad who came and yelled at the store manager at his local Target. When the manager called to apologize again, the father sheepishly admitted that he was in the wrong and that “there were things going on in the house that he wasn’t aware of”. Customer Analytics are awesome and scary at the same time. Fascinating interview, do give it a listen when you get a chance by clicking here.
At this point you are probably wondering what has this got anything to do with food. Well, one of the things we started talking about was how there really isn’t a need for pancake mixes to require the addition of milk and eggs. These can be powdered and be premixed so that all a consumer has to do is add water. But as the wonderful marketers have found out, requiring the addition of milk and eggs gives the illusion that the consumer is actually cooking something and that drives demand and purchasing. Who knew?
While on the topic of pancakes we talked about how we each take the boxed pancake mix and tweak the printed recipe slightly. In his case, he adds vanilla essence and a little bit of sugar in addition to milk and egg. The slight sweetness and fragrance of vanilla does wonders for his picky eaters. In my case, I mash a ripe banana or two, add a little bit of vanilla extract, egg and milk to the powdered mix. The banana adds sweetness and adds a helping of fruit to the pancakes. Haven’t heard any complaints from my kids and I have to say the pancakes do taste pretty good.
I don’t know about you guys but getting my older daughter to eat fruit is like extracting teeth. I try and sneak in whatever I can, whenever I can (e.g. pureed apple in a squash soup). If your kids are anything like her, hopefully this tip helps you. Good luck and good eating.