If I didn’t know better I’d think these folks were trying to trivialize the significance of raw milk as a bellwether food. Steve Adams of The Patriot-Ledger holds forth on “Elusiveness turns otherwise unremarkable products into cult favorites“. Excerpts:
“QUINCY —Hundreds of people conduct an informal survey of which McDonald’s restaurants carry Shamrock Shakes, posting their reports on a Web page. Food bloggers count the days until the annual appearance of Kosher Coke – made with real sugar, not corn syrup – on grocery shelves in the Northeast. Curious customers back up traffic on Route 1 to greet the state’s first Sonic Drive-In in Peabody, after seeing the company’s commercials on ESPN for years.
Scarcity creates demand, turning otherwise unremarkable consumer products into cult favorites. Their elusiveness is one of their primary attractions.
“If you’re afraid you can’t get it in a couple of days, you want to get it now,” said Andy Aylesworth, a marketing professor at Bentley University. “I would bet that it’s really effective. Some people are running out to buy these things and more and more companies are doing it.”
Some of these products are unavailable in many geographic markets. Many are sold each year for a short period of time. They may even be illegal in some jurisdictions.
Pepsi-Cola rolled out Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback – both made with sugar – for a pair of eight-week limited time offers last spring and in the past two months.
“It was for nostalgia’s sake, to remind people what the products tasted like in the ’60s and ’70s,” Pepsi spokeswoman Nicole Bradley said.
Lack of proximity to a product can trigger cravings among consumers. Many East Coasters were fascinated with Coors beer in the 1970s, when it was only available west of the Mississippi.
“I remember some friends of my brother driving to Colorado to get Coors,” Aylesworth said. “That’s an amazing piece of brand loyalty there.”…”
“…..Where: various liquor stores
What’s the attraction? The federal government approved the importation of this spirit in 2007 after a 95-year ban. The drink gained popularity in 19th-century France after being given to soldiers to treat malaria. Absinthe later became the favored tipple of tortured artistic types, including Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway. It also gained notoriety for its supposed hallucinogenic properties, which have been attributed to the ingredient thujone.
Absinthe appeals to the same demographic as people who drink craft beers, said John Sano, wine buyer at Wollaston Wine & Spirits in Quincy. “At first it was a novelty, but now I’m seeing some steady buying,” Sano said.
Where: Lawton Family Farm, Foxboro
What’s the attraction? Raw milk evangelists say it tastes better than its factory-produced counterpart and contains more nutrients. And customers have the satisfaction of supporting Norfolk County’s last remaining dairy farm. Unpasteurized, unhomogenized cows’ milk is illegal in 22 states including Rhode Island, which helps explain why Ocean State residents account for nearly half of the Lawton farm’s raw milk customers.
Where: British Imports, Plymouth
What’s the attraction? Let Groundskeeper Willie from “The Simpsons” explain the essence of this Scottish specialty: “Chopped heart and lungs … boiled in a real sheep’s stomach … tastes as good as it sounds!”
Scottish haggis imports were banned in the U.S. in 1989 amid fears of a mad cow disease outbreak. But you can buy U.S.-produced haggis at British Imports in Plymouth. The food shop satisfies a steady demand for the offal concoction from people of Scottish descent or those planning Robert Burns Day parties celebrating the Jan. 25 birthday of Scotland’s national poet.
“They like to take a sword and slice the haggis,” British Imports owner Unity MacLean said. “It’s all very ceremonious.”…”