August 21, 2014


Mostly Cloudy

Conditions at Parkersburg, Mid Ohio Valley Regional Airport, WV
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Announcing a New Mystery Flavor

What kind of marketing strategy is this?

The other day I was hustling through my local super-market, picking up items that I knew I needed, and looking for one that had escaped my search.

But suddenly, I read something as I went past the snack aisle, and I stopped in my tracks.

It wasn't anything shocking, in fact, it's a product that most of us have seen in our childhood.

It was a spool of bubble gum, wound in a ribbon, and housed in a green plastic case, not entirely unlike a tape dispenser.

But the thing that made me stop was the selection of flavors of this gum.

Grape, Sour Apple, or new...MYSTERY flavor.

I reread the signage again.

"Announcing, a new MYSTERY flavor!"

Now, I'm no longer in the gum buying demographic, having left my childhood behind some 40+ years ago... but it occurred to me, who on earth would buy something on the chance that they might like, or dislike the new mystery flavor?

I flashed to the recent New Coke disaster...and how other products had changed their formula or flavors, and encountered disaster.

Why would someone buy a product based solely on the appeal of a new "mystery flavor"?

Clearly, aimed at kids.  Or, perhaps their moms who are searching for something to appease the kid's taste buds.

I dunno...maybe it's just me, but I'm wondering just how successful this product is going to be.

Am I alone?

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