Artisanal Vs. The Little Guy
Recently I was shopping in the cheese section at a local grocery and noticed some big name brands, some artisanal selections and then the little guy brands. You know those products as the packaging is some very basic plastic wrap with a minimalist label on the front. It shows a company name, brief product description (Real Cheddar Cheese) and maybe a P.O Box or town of origin. If there are any graphics you may see an outline of a cow if you're lucky.
The illustration at left is for a growing product category which fills the limited production, higher priced tier that offers a perceived better taste experience. You find nice detailed and authentic looking graphics that back the brand's look and feel. You really want to try this one. I bought one artisanal cheese based on some convincing graphics and packaging and one of the little guy brand. The test came when I put both out on a plate and blind taste tested them. Guess what happened? The artisanal brand tasted better. Now the little guy cheese was also very good but just shy of the other one. Never fear as this doesn't always happen. I don't always buy the artisanal brand. Why? Cost plays a factor and locale. If I know the little guy is local and the artisanal isn't, I go local. That's just me though.
Remember, the little guy did include a location of origin on his package and that was the tipping point, Now this example doesn't always hold true in every product offering out on the market but I do find myself studying the packaging a bit more closely when it comes to big brands, artisanal and the little guy.
What brand would you buy?
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