Food Costs and Benefits


Does anyone remember the tagline of Stella Artois, the Belgian beer founded an awfully long time ago? So many advertising campaigns have graced screens over the years, but the strapline is perhaps the most audacious and memorable. It was “reassuringly expensive’. It’s worth remembering that this is not a Gucci handbag or a Louis Vuitton luggage item. This is a lager.

This was a direct signal that you get what you pay for, that Stella is expensive, and that you should feel good about that. The ‘reassuringly’ takes care of the feel good factor. When a food is cheap, it can signal a number of things, possibly in combination:

  • The ingredients are cheap

  • The ingredients are artificial, substituting for natural alternatives

  • The product was cheaply made, using highly developed processing methods

  • The product is a bulk product

  • The sell by date is approaching and so you have to eat the product quickly

Lower cost food has taken liberties with what goes in it, how it is made, and how (and how far) it gets to us. These have important consequences for our health and for the environment.

Contrast this with what a higher cost food can signal:

  • Natural

  • Organic

  • Sustainably sourced and produced

  • Healthy

  • Premium

There’s one important caveat here, and that is the notion of trust. A product might be expensively priced because the brand has built up trust, a track record and reputation with its customers, using quality inputs and processes and justifying the premium price. Where there is no trust, the product may be poor quality and the price is set high to con us and rip us off.

The smRt pasta range has two organic, sustainably sourced ingredients, plus water. It’s hand made in Italy, using artisanal techniques. It contains a 2% dried seaweed mix, with proven health benefits and carefully blended to provide the right balance of key minerals and no seaweed taste. It’s what we call organic+ - organic plus - and it’s a premium product. Is it reassuringly expensive? No; saying that would get us into trouble.

You can find out more about the smRt pasta range here, and you can shop for smRt pasta here. Orders are in boxes are of 12 packets, and for orders of 2 boxes or more, forget about shipping altogether.