Well done, innovators: chocolate milk edition

Invention, innovation, technological improvement – call it what you will, it’s the driver of progress and the source of all improvements to our quality of life. So why are people so anti-innovation?

Last week the boutique dairy brand Lewis Road Creamery hit marketing gold with their new chocolate milk.

In an article aptly titled “Demand for choc milk outstrips supply”, Stuff reported consumers were desperate for the new treat, with queues forming at supermarkets and staff working constantly to produce as much as possible. This is the kind of thing that makes economists all warm and fuzzy inside: a company tried something new, consumers loved it, everyone is better off, the market is doing what it’s supposed to do – improve people’s quality of life. The only question remaining is why the company doesn’t increase the price in the face of such rampant excess demand (the reason is most likely one of trust and brand loyalty – companies know full well that it looks mercenary and hurts the brand to lift prices when demand is high, even if that is the rational thing to do).

But the comments are overwhelmingly negative. Not just a few people, but the majority of commenters on that Stuff article, slammed the new product for being unhealthy and/or unoriginal. There are plenty of comments like this one, which is an excellent study in how deeply some people fail to understand the purpose of business in society:

Lewis Rd make fantastic dairy products and Whittakers make fantastic chocolate but anyone can mix these two ingredients together themselves and make chocolate milk….there’s a whole lot of idiots out there driving all over town to try and find the stuff when they could just make it themselves. So are people lazy, stupid or both?

Yeah, I hate it when companies do all that work to produce ready-made treats, soup, toasters, carpet or vehicles, when I could so easily have bought all the raw materials and made them myself.

There’s also an abundance of this nasty, judgemental, fat-shaming nonsense:

The taste may be absolutely out of this world, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the fat and/or sugar content will be very high. As a treat now and again, not a problem. But sadly, the best customers will also be ones who don’t need to put on any more weight.

– Speedy

Because it’s important to protect people from enjoying life too much.

And then, of course, this, which not only betrays an impressive lack of understanding of supply and demand, but also blends ignorance with that judgemental tone that we love to adopt when talking about other people’s choices:

A fool and his money are easily parted. Six bucks for 750ml?? Its only chocolate milk people!!
Make the world a better place and buy Nippys for $1.99 and donate the difference to a charity of your choice.
– GWM
Where do we get off judging each other like this? *facepalm* Thanks, Lewis Road Creamery, for adding value and making people happy with this product. Just consider increasing the price if demand stays high for long enough.
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