Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Why can't you buy low calorie snacks?

I'm just back from a rain-drenched walk to the shops. Whilst seeking inspiration amongst the aisles I started picking up the snacks and examining the calorie content. I noticed a very weird thing. Crisps, chocolate, biscuits or sweets (or chips, cookies, candies and... chocolate. Is there a thing in the US that all types of snacks must be spelled with the letter 'C'?), it didn't matter what I picked up, each had between 450 and 550 calories per 100g.

Why? There has to be a reason. Is it something to do with manufacturing methods? Has  market research discovered that anything less than 450 (like the bag of popcorn I bought at the weekend) leaves a customer so unsatisfied that they won't buy it again? Or is it just a coincidence, some quirk caused by a confluence of halloween treats and limited shelf space, and next week I'll go in and find a variety of foods to fill every caloric gradation.

I don't think it's the latter. The cost of re-printing the packaging would be too great. But it does remind me of a rather interesting programme on planet money that solved a similar puzzle, as to why peanut M&Ms come are sold at a different weight to milk chocolate ones;

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/06/06/319509152/episode-544-the-m-m-anomaly

Anyway. That's enough procrastination. I went out in search of inspiration for a way to describe a ship's passengers travelling down from Svalbard, approaching Holyhead (on Anglesey) and being presented with a flotilla of small ships huddling against the shore. I should have written this part on the ferry over from Ireland, but instead I've got to try and find my muse in the puddle-filled pavements of London. Lesson learnt for next time.