Friday, March 07, 2003

Bill Hobbs Say I'm Wrong

Bill Hobbs took exception to a post of mine and tried to point out the error of my ways. I still think I'm right, just not sure how to prove it yet.

Seriously, my point was that all that money used to buy shelf space and product placement is money that comes not from the grocers and food companies, but from their customers. You and me. None of that has anything to do with the quality or quantity of our food. Our food would be cheaper if we didn't have to pay all that payola, which is essentially what it is.

It's an inevitable by-product of capitalistic free markets. With only so much shelf-space, the competition for it drives up the value. Sellers will pay what they feel is necessary to get their products in front of our faces. But that doesn't make it right.

When Bill argues that the money grocers make from the shelf fees makes the difference between profit and loss, I think he misses the point that grocers traditionally are very slim profit-margin businesses anyway. All that money is just inflating costs, not supplementing low revenue. Give me a day or so to think it over and I'll see the flaw in his assertion. I can sense it, but can't quite articulate it. Yet.

And Bill is still a friend of mine.

No comments: