Freudian marketing - How do you show ripeness?
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 3 May 99 13:03:54 -0700
Subject: Freudian marketing - How do you show ripeness?
Forwarded-by: "Andrew C. Bul+hac?k" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sales of smaller melons go from bust to boom
By Peter Birkett
BRITAIN'S biggest supermarket chain has asked fruit growers to supply
smaller melons after research indicated that housewives subconsciously
compared them to the size of their breasts.
Buyers working for Tesco have been told by a psychologist that the current
preference for smaller busts - epitomised by the model Kate Moss and the
actress Gwyneth Paltrow - was the reason why the traditional big, fleshy
melons were remaining unsold. Now the retail giant has instructed its melon
growers in Spain to produce more "fun-size" galia melons of no more than
1lb 3oz - which equates to a C cup - rather than the full-sized 2lb 2oz "DD
cup" melons which have been slow to sell.
A Tesco spokesman said: "We were very surprised by the results of the market
research. But it's certainly produced results. Since we introduced smaller
melons two months ago we have sold more than a million."
The company's buyers became puzzled when they noticed customers consistently
picking out the smallest fruits from its stores' displays. They asked market
researchers to quiz focus groups of volunteer shoppers about the reason for
this, but initially no definitive conclusion could be reached.
Later, at an all-female focus group session, the possibility of a
subconscious relationship to breast size was raised and Tesco asked one of
its retail psychologists to test the theory. His research showed that seven
out of 10 women questioned agreed that breast size was "the most likely
subconscious factor when selecting size of melon". Fifty per cent of those
went further, saying breast size was a conscious thought when choosing.
According to the psychologist's report, most women questioned agreed that
the modern preference for smaller-breasted models made it more "comforting"
to choose smaller melons. An all-male focus group drew similar conclusions.
In the report, the Tesco psychologist also said that when choosing a melon,
customers liked to feel around the blossom end of the fruit with its
nipple-like scar. The Tesco spokesman said: "Apparently customers believe
the blossom end should be slightly squashy to show ripeness."
© 1999 Peter Langston