Questionable Marketing Encountered in a Grocery Store

Stephen Yearwood
2 min readFeb 14, 2024

The other day I was looking in the “Nutrition” section in a grocery store. I had learned that I needed to increase the amount of protein in my diet, so I was looking at protein bars as a possibility. (Apparently, the amount recommended goes up significantly for people over 60 — in my case from at about 70g.–75g./day to 80–85 — and I was already a little short in that area.)

Anyhow, I ran into a couple of marketing ideas that made me wonder what people were thinking.

One was a brand called “Soylent.” Really? There is a movie from 1973 called “Soylent Green.” To completely spoil the movie, in it people are killed and their remains are turned into a foodstuff upon which ‘the masses’ depend for nourishment. It’s called “Soylent Green.” The color palate of this packaging I saw was brown-on-white, not green, but even so. ???

Speaking of brown-on-white, another possibility for protein is protein chips. Apparently, they are corn chips laced with a powdered protein supplement (hopefully not from humans). One brand name was “Buffalo.” Seriously? You’re selling me “Buffalo” chips? For anyone who might not know or hasn’t guessed, that was the term used for the dried turds of buffalo, which were used as fuel for fires on the plains of what is now called North America, where trees were pretty much nonexistent but buffalo existed in vast numbers (before — guess what — grotesquely greedy white males decimated the great herds of them for their hides — and leaving the rest of the animals to rot, of course).

______________

To give credit where credit is due, I tried Atkins protein bars and found them to be an excellent option. They are (relatively) reasonably priced (about $8 for five bars) and have 15g. of protein per (1.69 oz.) bar. That’s at least half of (for me) a full meal’s worth of the blessed nutrient. They are made primarily from almonds (no gluten) and have chocolate on them and caramel in them. Their taste is, for me, pleasant enough without being so good that I want another one right away; another one tomorrow will do just fine.

Update (2/21/24): When I went to the same store a week later a box of those same protein bars had gone from $7.69 to $9.59.

--

--

Stephen Yearwood

unaffiliated, non-ideological, unpaid: M.A. in political economy (where philosophy and economics intersect) with a focus in money/distributive justice