Miruna Codeanu

Ikea, horse meat and mass market, economy, you stupid!

In espresso on February 26, 2013 at 6:29 am

Horse meat traced in Ikea meatballs, LeMonde writes.  Horse DNA was also found in cannellonis in Spain. Humanity reached that point where eating something that is not plastic can be very expensive. In order to feed the many alternative solutions must be found. No, not in that conspirative way: in the economic way in which a company is designing products for its audience.

Ikea has labeled itself as “cheap”. As a personal choice, sorry peers, I do not like Ikea, but we’re not talking personal choices, we’re talking targeting and positioning. So, Ikea is cheap and it targets low income population. We’re talking furniture but also food. Low income does not afford eating natural, chemical free food. Every time I go to the supermarket I realize that my quarterly full cart costs more than my neighbors  How is that possible? How is it possible that beans, whole cereals, nuts and fish are more expensive than pork, beef, salami and processed meat? Theoretically speaking, the process of bringing beef meat to the market is more expensive than the one of producing vegetable, fruits and cereals. Or at least, I grew up in an economy where that was true. Not anymore. 

I was always awe struck when seeing the huge amount of people waiting in line for the 1 ron hot dog (that is aproximately 25 euro cents). I’ve always asked myself: how do they do it, how can a hot dog cost 25 euro cents? Are you expecting the wurst inside the hot dog to contain 90% chicken meat? No, you can’t do that. Think of the price you pay, think where you are and how Ikea places itself on the market: cheap.

This only comes to support my thesis that the companies involved in the horse meat scandal were aware of the horse meat passed as beef but it is all down to profit. Putting yourself on the mass market means playing by its rules and the rules for this mass market say cheap right now. Ikea is definitely playing by the rules and doing it right. Turnover for Ikea’s food branch for 2012: 1.2 billion euros. Profit doesn’t care whether it’s morally good or evil, this is the market where Ikea plays and if you think it’s wrong, the easiest way a customer can sabotage a company is to stop buying. It’s not horse meat, it’s not Romania, it’s not Ikea, it’s pure economy, you stupid!

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