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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Eco Future: Cage-free is the way to be

"Why shouldn't cows and pigs feel sunlight on their backs, grass under their feet?...Yes, they'll be killed for food--but until then, they should have a nice stay on Earth."

Sounds a little ridiculous, but the premise behind Wolfgang Puck's new philosophy (and business practices) will help him continue to ride the tide of popularity. 25 years ago, he opened Spago, and the empire was borne. Today, his products feed over 10 million people a year. His company's growth is easily attributed to consistent innovation and the ability to respond to what people want (like the genius introduction of grocery store frozen pizzas).

Today's adaptations include promises to use organic ingredients and fish and game that were raised under humane conditions. Not sure if it'll be as rosy as his "grass beneath their feet" ideal, but chickens will be raised cage-free. He also plans to change packaging from plastic to recycled paper.

Another important detail: he's not planning to raise prices.

And good for him. It's not a revolutionary idea (Chipotle), but the equity he gains in brand affinity and positive perceptions will certainly offset the costs associated with this adaptation.

Via Newsweek


Simon said...


Those ECO/NEO-HEALTH BRANDS WHO CAN WORK OUT THE EGALITARIAN PRICE AND ACCESS FACTORS WILL WIN. MASS MATTERS. People want to drive a better car, eat a healthier sandwich, and drink a healthy refreshment...but dammit, price matters, too! And the masses are getting damn tired of the class separations forced upon them that the higher price demands.

salina said...

Yep, I totally agree with you. The only thing that kind of made me stiffen was Wolfgang's belief that the smaller guys should do the same thing. His company's scale makes it much easier to offset these prices, but obviously Mom and Pop don't have that luxury.