Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Friday, December 16, 2005

Residents' Choice: A threat to the President's Choice Brand?

In Canada, the Weston food group, Loblaw's, Zehr's and other grocery chains carry an in-store brand of many items called "President's Choice"; on average, this brand is higher quality than most store brands or most no-name varieties of the products.

Recently, an acquaintance who wishes to remain anonymous, has proposed that a group of us send the following letter to Loblaw's (Most of the names have been changed to preserve anonymity):


Dear Sir:

I am a member of a quartet of business men—an economist, a physician, a pharmacist and a sociologist who are planning a new product. We have been advised by the son of one of our members (who started law school in September) that there is a possibility our new product will infringe on your copyright, trademarks and patents. And we wish to reassure you on our new product and secure your permission to go ahead.

We plan on producing a new series of food products under the name RESIDENTS' CHOICE.

Our exclusive line of food products is targeted at the residents of nursing homes who have special eating needs not satisfied by other products such as your own President’s Choice foods. For example, your President’s Choice Caesar Sourdough Croutons are difficult (or shall we say hard) to eat because of their crispiness and are loaded with spice and acids (such as fumaric acid and citric acid) whereas our RESIDENTS' CHOICE Croutons will be unbaked pieces of Wonder Bread without the crust, or flavors added, much softer and less irritating on the gums of 90-year old residents.

Our line of RESIDENTS' CHOICE foods were developed by experts who are concerned with the health and vigor of nursing home patients in mind.

The market was studied by an expert with a great deal of experience with foods, the economist Dr. John Palmer, who is famed for his work with butter substitutes, and developed a theory of Margarine Utility.

Dr. Hippo Crates has had much experience with older patients and his own mother is 109 years old. He has been much reputed and has commendations and references from the captains of several seaworthy student boats, and has had very few student deaths, or pregnancies of the girls whom he had close contact with under his ship patronage licence.

Our pharmacist, James Jones, will be testing each of our RESIDENTS' CHOICE foods with mortar and pestle analysis of stress tolerance, permeability, and component correlation analysis. His analysis of digoxin digestibility following ingestion of peanut butter is well-known as the Jones Jive analysis and can be found in a recent issue of the Drug Store Gazette.

Finally, as the sociologist looking at group dynamics and eating in inbound collectivities, Dr. Peter Headcase shall be in charge of compatibility analysis and relationships among the different RESIDENTS’ CHOICE FOODS. He is well known for his study of Feedback and Foodback. (You may recall the recent case of another new product company which attempted to secure permission from the Law Counsel of Coca-Cola for his Kiet Doke which sounds a lot like Diet Coke).

We shall look forward to your reaction to our plans and your blessings.

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