Thursday, August 27, 2015

Waiting for the Drop

I'm not staking out space in Times Square so I can see (among other things) Ryan Seacrest and Selena Gomez really close up this New Year's Eve. 

Nor am I commenting on the recent fluctuations in the stock market, which suffers from a bad case of TMI if you ask me.

No, I'm waiting for something else to drop. I'm waiting for the seventy-five cent package of Oreos to appear.

Let me explain.

You might not know this, but the Oreo you just deconstructed to get at the icing or dunked in a glass of Mountain Dew was made in Chicago. But not any more.

Mondelez, the sprawling snack food giant spun-off from Kraft Foods, is packing up its chocolate wafers, gooey cream centers and six-hundred jobs and moving production of its best-selling Oreo cookies to Mexico.

It should be noted this is not the result of Mondelez's desire to develop a truly authentic lime and beer-flavored Oreo. Nope. This is just another cash grab by another big American corporation.

Mondelez cites outdated facilities and the cost to modernize them as the reason for the relocation, but I suspect the lack of additional union concessions and the City of Chicago's refusal to subsidize the improvements are the real cause.

That and the irresistible opportunity to exponentially increase their profit margin, thrill their shareholders, pump up Mondelez's share price and boost CEO Irene Rosenfeld's annual income.

And isn't that what it's all about?

I don't really expect the price of Oreos to go down, even if Mondelez is saving a bundle on labor. (On average, Mexican factory workers earn eighteen percent of what their counterparts in the U.S. do.)

Still, couldn't the consumers who have sustained Oreos throughout their hundred-year lifespan reasonably expect an attendant drop in price? Especially considering that as taxpayers, they will be the ones subsidizing the workers Mondelez left behind?

In the great shell game that is business, I expect a PR release saying the relocation merely fends-off an inevitable fifty-percent price increase had the plant remained in the United States. That the move actually stabilizes the cost of Oreos.

Yeah. That's it. This is about keeping Oreos affordable.

So put those thoughts of seventy-five cents-a-pack Oreos out of your head you greedy, selfish consumer you.

Where do you suppose that came from?

No comments:

Post a Comment