Snack sense?

To pass the time while I creep through the Novato Narrows on the way home from work, I often listen to Podcasts. One of my favorites is Freakonomics. Although the topic of Friday’s Podcast – “Why Marry?” – was interesting, it was the commercial that aired during it that was really thought provoking.

The ad was for a service that delivers a box of snacks to your house…sort of a snack-of-the-month club. But when you sign up for this service, you don’t get bags of Jacked Ranch-Dipped Hot Wings-Flavored Doritos and dozens of Rockin’ Nut Road Snickers cocooned in bubble wrap and delivered by UPS to your doorstep. No, this service is sends precious little bags of healthy snacks like Orange Crush Granola and Honeycomb Sunflower Kernals. Ahhh, how sweet.

This concept of home-delivered snacks makes no sense to me; did the investors in this online company eat a few too many hemp and chia seed coin crackers? What unmet need does this service provide?

I’m wondering if one of their initial strategy meetings went something like this:

“There is really a scarcity of places to buy snacks. And I’m sure there are families who would love to pay double what they would at Target for a bag of trail mix, just to have the thrill of opening a box of goodies that they may not even like.”

Like I said, I don’t get it.

Unlike services that have monthly deliveries of craft beers or special wine, snacks can be bought at so many places that we frequent anyway, why would we need a service to deliver them? Buying snacks is just part of doing our regular shopping, whether it’s a bag of Cinnamon Almonds at Trader Joe’s or a 10 pound bag of chocolate-covered acai berries at Costco. Plus, isn’t half the fun of eating snacks, choosing them depending on if you’re craving crunchy or salty or sweet? The snacks in this service are pre-selected; I would feel a little like a toddler who is told to “eat this because it’s good for you.”

Given that one-third of the population is obese, there’s much more of a need for a service in which people show up at our houses to take snacks out of our cupboards, not bring us more. Goodness, with this service, even the hope of burning a few calories walking from your car to the store is gone. Calories just appear at your door.

Actually, I think this company has it backwards. Who would be embarrassed about pushing a shopping cart filled with dehydrated apple slices and Whole Wheat Fig Bars? It’s not the healthy snacks that should be ordered online where no one can see what you’re buying. It’s the Cheetos and Red Vines that should show up in a plain brown box and unwrapped in the privacy of your own home.

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