Monday, 8 August 2011

Why only drinks that stimulate thirst are profitable

Why only drinks stimulate thirst are profitable has been re-produced at my new blog Cell Your Sole.

So I've had this niggling question for quite a while now. 'Why do most drinks available not quench your thirst?'. for along time I've been ordering a separate glass of water with any drink at a restaurant. In a club or bar I just accept that each drink is going to make me want another.

But why is this the case? Why is each drink so strong and often quite concentrated to make me need a separate glass of water?

I think the reason is basic economics. I don't think it's anything particularly sinister on the manufacturers or sellers part. The drinks market is very competitive and needs sales volume to turn a profit. So each drink must be sold in volume. I just think that it doesn't make sense financially to sell drinks that don't encourage repeat purchases because you won't sell many units of a drink that actually quenches your thirst.

This explains to me why the best sellers are coffee, tea, coke and many other caffeine related drinks. Caffeine makes you pee so you lose some of the water you drink with it. It's also addictive. So you feel the need for another. Chocolate is the same.

I expect that many drinks have been sold over time that do quench your thirst but very few of these have survived for this very reason. They just didn't sell in the volumes required. They were outcompeted by other drinks.  I don't see how drinks without elements that keep you coming back for more like strong flavours, addictive agents or diuretic properties can compete in this market.  It's these properties that produce drinks that won't quench your thirst because they're too concentrated with sugarand laced with diuretics and addictive ingredients.

The alternative is to price these thirst quenching drinks higher so you don't need to sell the volume but I don't think that sits well with consumers. Mainly because the drinks don't fit the expectations people have of higher priced drinks. They taste more like the simple drinks you'd have at home not expensive drinks for a special occasion.

This is just my opinion. It helps me accept these things for what they are. We may see this change in the future but I'm not holding my breath. Ultimately I'm saying that consumers are making the choices. Manufacturers and retailers have to sell products that make them a profit. to do this you need people regularly coming back for more. By definition that means you give them what they want instead of what they need.

The funny thing is, I think the exact same thing has happened in the food market. the same pattern and results for exactly the same reasons. Often food and drinks are seen to complement each other.

It's also why my approach is to make my body strong enough to be able to handle the food and drinks on offer. Instead of spending my time avoiding the delights on offer I prefer to believe our bodies can thrive with a little of these foods so longer as we maintain our true hunter gatherer roots. That is that we must hunt and gather which means move, play, search. Do that and you'll be able to do what you want when you want.
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