Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Is It Safe?

"Use By" dates on supermarket products are an intriguing device.

Ostensibly, they add to the customers' belief that the store is looking after their safety but, in order to avoid lawsuits and/or complaints, the advice errs on the side of caution. This instils a conservatism in customers that, no doubt, leads to increased revenues as perfectly good food is thrown out and must be replaced.

Just as with Zara's rapid product turnover, the cleverest marketing is that which changes worldviews and behaviours without the customer feeling manipulated.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


my understanding it that there are two categories - USE BY and BEST BEFORE. The former is the more important as bacterial contamination of food can result if not consumed in time. And I'm sure you're right in that there is a good margin for error. The second BEST BEFORE is a more general recommendation and probably meets the description of clever marketing better. Then I wonder what people do in practice. With milk (a best before product) I taste it and rely on my nose/sense of taste to tell me if I want to drink it or not.



2:16 PM, October 16, 2006  

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