A journal of political, social, and other important, possibly even somewhat related affairs, including but not limited to: Central European Society, The European Union, HC Kometa Brno, American Politics, Film, and Beer.

15 July 2012

They're just so cute!

This is a very interesting story, made more interesting by the coincidence that I myself bought a few mandarin oranges today before reading the article for precisely the reason that mandarin oranges are so peelable! And they were only a crown (5¢) more per kilo (2.2 lbs.), so it's hardly any price difference -- about 2¢ per pound.

Turns out, the mandarin revolution (nothing to do with Chiang Kai-shek) is a revolution in marketing as well as citrus preferences. The kids love the Cuties, as the mandarin oranges in this story are named. It's an interesting story about how marketing influences our choices, but that it can only do so much. Marketing can make us aware of a better product, but other factors, such as price, quality, and convenience still influence our decision-making process. 

That is as it should be. We are eating more oranges that are "easier" for us to eat, and producers pay money to help us find out about it. The market responds to this almost automatically, in ways that a centrally controlled authority could never do. After all, some people still prefer bigger oranges with seeds, and they are still available. Indeed, they will probably have to become even cheaper to keep some of those big-orange eaters. In a centrally controlled economy, such as the one in Czechoslovakia 25 years ago, people often got one orange per year. At Christmastime, thanks to Santa Castro. And you couldn't choose what kind. Nowadays, oranges are as typical as white peppers or horseradish roots. And you can get mandarin oranges or the big ones, and you don't have to bribe the guy at the supermarket for either one.



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