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Question for the day - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
Question for the day
Let's assume for a moment that you are a vegetarian. In your neighborhood, there is a butcher that sells a great deal of dead animals and some odd bits like pickles and asparagus. The trouble is, all of the signs on the front window advertise specials on meat and make no mention of the other goodies. Do you:

a) Attempt to make a case that they are losing money for failing to market to a demographic group (i.e. vegans and vegetarians) that are unlikely to shop in the store anyway; or

b) Concede that since a butcher's shop should first and foremost be trying to sell meat, advertising that they have meat for sale is a reasonably good marketing technique?

Seriously, this isn't a hard one...
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(Deleted comment)
komos From: komos Date: July 31st, 2006 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it's more a matter of the store having been there so long that the concept of dedicated vegetarians never actually occurred to the owners.

"Making a case" here means noting that signs that advertise meat are offensive and do not encourage the non-omnivore to go in to the shop to see if they carry anything else. It may just me, but it strikes as a

Will Turner: You cheated.
Jack Sparrow: Pirate.

cris From: cris Date: July 31st, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've never been impressed with Mackinnon's produce selection. It only seems to exist for the convenience of shoppers stopping by to get a little roughage to go with their shell steak. In that sense, I imagine that actually advertising their veggie wares would just be a useless waste of window space that benefits neither buyer nor seller.

I'm assuming you're talking about Mackinnon's because I never recall seeing sale signs at Savenor's (Savenor's having a sale? pshaw. as if), Fresh Killed doesn't do veggies nor does Casa de Carne (at least not fresh ones) and Al-Hoda's sale signs are all in Arabic and usually pertaining to long-distance untraceable disposable calling cards.
komos From: komos Date: July 31st, 2006 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
McKinnon's stocks non-meat foods that essentially serve two roles: impulse and convenience purchases. As such, they're really an augmented butcher with a deli counter. I'm pretty happy with that, but then, I eat meat and tend to shop elsewhere for produce. In fact, if I went in expecting to find produce, I'd probably be pretty disappointed... much like I am (with rare exceptions) in chain supermarkets.
cris From: cris Date: July 31st, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
"ya want nice tomatoes? Then, go ta Pemberton Fahms, ya hippie!"
xzqx From: xzqx Date: August 2nd, 2006 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ohhh, I miss P-Farms!
champignon From: champignon Date: July 31st, 2006 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
champignon From: champignon Date: July 31st, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

for context...

I'll add... the fish store next to my house in NY sold some kind of sad veggies.

I was excited to discover this while still a vegetarian and scoping out prices of shrimp to feed my cats as treats. Ha!

In a pinch, sometimes I'd scurry over there and buy a carrot.

My bf-at-the-time, more staunchly veggie and more "on principle" veggie than I, used to act uncomfortable when I did this, and say things like "I wouldn't patronize that business."
komos From: komos Date: August 1st, 2006 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: for context...

Either works, really. I've never quite been able to wrap my mind around activist-driven consumption, but then my forays into vegetarianism - which have happened from time to time - have largely been to gear myself up for healthier living.

This should happen again soon, for a little bit anyway.
komos From: komos Date: August 1st, 2006 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)


...wrap my mind around it for myself, I meant to say. I certainly can understand and respect the principles behind it.
sun_seed From: sun_seed Date: July 31st, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)


i wouldn't shop there for pickles if it was a butcher. advertising for pickles wouldn't entice me to either. it would be pointless. i'd avoid the smell and scene of dead meat cut into pieces and go to the veggie market down the street instead.

From: aphorisic Date: July 31st, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: b

See, i was going to ask if there was another market in Davis Sq., since I could see this being a somewhat legitimate query if that was all there is.
komos From: komos Date: August 1st, 2006 01:22 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: b

There is a small grocer/convenience store literally across the street, and you're within walking distance of the Shaws at Porter Square.

Considering that it's called McKinnon's Choice Meats, it's really difficult to misconstrue what they do.
komos From: komos Date: August 1st, 2006 01:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: b

...which is a perfectly legitimate position to take. I just wouldn't expect a butcher to cater to a vegetarian any more than I'd expect a whole foods coop to cater to someone who doesn't consider a meal a meal without there being meat and potatoes on the plate.

Being an omnivore with pretty wide tastes, I will happily shop at either. ^^
sun_seed From: sun_seed Date: August 1st, 2006 01:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: b

yes.. i agree as long as we're strictly talking about food here. of course, if it were pertaining to other things like a sex shop, for example, i would expect it to have toys for males, females, and any type of person on the planet, not just a particular person.

komos From: komos Date: August 1st, 2006 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: b

Sure thing. My point is that if you're looking at a sex shop, it would make sense that if they were doing storefront marketing, you would see sex toys (or signs for them) in the window and not the blank journals they just happen to carry alongside of the instructional manuals and videos. Similarly, it's probably safe to assume that if it's a sex shop, their target audience won't be the celebate.
futurenurselady From: futurenurselady Date: August 1st, 2006 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)
From a marketing standpoint, if I were going to consult them on advertising I'd say advertise meat.

If you want to sell produce and meat to your customers, make specials where you can get a deal on the price if you buy "meat and..."

This was effective in Salem at a place called Steve's Mart. They made good money, and then were able to expand.

But if I were a vegetarian, I really wouldn't concern myself if a place that seemed to sell only meat should advertise vegetable products. Likely the place (and its advertisements) would be under my radar. After all, like grandma always said: "It's not a bargain if it's just a low price on something you wouldn't ever use."
komos From: komos Date: August 1st, 2006 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
That makes perfect sense. If you are shopping in a place called "McKinnon's Choice Meats," chances are good that if you get anything besides meat, it will be something to go with the meat. There might be incidental sales of produce, but it's doubtful that those will be to vegetarians who will be avoiding the place anyway.
cinemama From: cinemama Date: August 1st, 2006 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I am a vegetarian, and I would say B. Though, they might get more business in general (not from vegetarians, who would never shop there regardless) if they advertised other interesting things they might sell.
komos From: komos Date: August 1st, 2006 02:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I appears that the idea is to rely on people to see the scali bread as they're shopping and think, "Hey, I need bread, too!" If they were more geared to being a proper grocer, it would be one thing, but their model appears to be more of a butcher with incidentals.

Speaking of vegetarian fare, when might be a good time for a jaunt for sushi? Soon I hope? ^_^
cinemama From: cinemama Date: August 1st, 2006 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
What are you doing this weekend? :)
komos From: komos Date: August 1st, 2006 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to check, but the idea has some promise. I'll let you know soon, k?
riverbank From: riverbank Date: August 1st, 2006 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
who goes to a butcher for veggies? nah, they know their market. the rest is bonus business.
From: archer823 Date: August 1st, 2006 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Exactly my thoughts. I'm anti stores that try to be jack of all trades, rather than being the ace in the hole for their market.

There's a fantastic seafood market near me, and sure they happen to sell a few other things like sauces and other things that may go well with seafood, I wouldn't go into the store thinking, "Oh I need to pick up some panko bread crumbs!" even though they have it for people who want to make tempura. Nor would I want my fish market to advertise as being a Japanese foods store.
komos From: komos Date: August 1st, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Some things just make more sense than others.
komos From: komos Date: August 1st, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Frankly, I wish there were more places like it.
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