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March 3, 2013

Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 10:36:46 -0500

Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 09:54:45 -0500

Dear Sir/Madame,

After some research of the snack foods market, or particularly with regards to potato chip and corn chip products available in supermarkets and because of the impossibility of reaching anybody who could give me a reason as to why most of your Frito-Lay chip products are price-stamped by the manufacturer and not set by the store itself-this is after both writing to you and different companies active in the same market and by actually talking to store mangers in the DC are of the state of Maryland-I now must conclude that it is nothing more than a psychological strategy to re-affirm in the mind of the consumer your brand’s value, as something like the “Mercedes Benz” of feel-good, junk food.

And the truth is my only empirical evidence to support this last statement is the fact the actual sales prices are pretty much 2 for one, and many times you can get one for half price, which is 50 cents to a dollar more expensive, generally than the generic, no name brands-which are not factory stamped with a price.

But all your other competitors now in fact do just what you do; and their prices are usually the same as yours (some are can be, more expensive).

But the point would be seem to be, according to this logic and in regards to your products, to get the consumer to associate in his or her mind a price (now of $4.29 for a 10 ounce bag in MD) which would be understood as the “essence” in the consumer’s mind of the product that he or she is actually getting, every time a purchase is made, at significant discount.

So you are quite shrewdly maintaining a high end price (corresponding to a kind of luxury item-that certainly does taste great!, while at the same time incorporating a discount mechanism into the product itself by having your bags of chips factory-stamped.

But certainly, then, you have given some kind of heads up to the grocery industry at its very highest management level, even if the lower grade, simple store manger hasn’t got the slightest clue as to why these products, out all the other food items in a supermarket, are the only ones that are stamped by the manufacturer before delivery to the store.

So essentially you have developed a kind of “holy grail” of marketing: consumers effectively get a “luxury” item that they identify as such (based on its price), but that is systematically discounted, at least in supermarkets.

But allow me to mention just one moral point here: as you are most certainly aware, junk food (or feel good food is truly a form of physiological relief, which you need a lot of in the strife both urban and suburban consumer reality, especially if you are poor.

Because when you are poor, eating food-and especially junk food – itself has a very real soothing effect from the horrendous psychological pressure that living in consumer society but without much money, causes the individual to feel.

But you have made quite clear that you don’t give a rat’s ass about that based on your outrageous prices, even at a discount, which puts your products, effectively beyond the reach of poor and -statistically dominant- black people, at least in the US.

And now for the most important question: is that the kind of thing you learned at Harvard Business School where you got your MBA?

And am I, Sir, supposed to just accept this as a natural and legitimate kind of treatment for people on the part of the de facto power of consumer society?

Was this how you were treated as child?

And finally, what does this make you with regards to me as the black sheep of your flock that is fleeced just as my white brethren are?

Answer me on FaceBook, Ma’fucka’:


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