Essence of Chicken – A Marketing Triumph.

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I have a short list of people in history I’d like to meet with and shake their hand.  On the top of that list is ” the first person who ate a Raw Oyster”. Somewhere down that list of people I admire, along with Steve Jobs and Lee Kwan Yew, is an as yet nameless individual, who invented the “Essence of Chicken”.

Lets assume a hypothetical entrepreneur wants to get in on the health food market. He looks around and sees expensive mushrooms, extracts, fish oil, pills, powders. A pattern emerges, one that is common in any industry,

Scarcity + Health Benefits = High price

SO you would think that the logical place to start is to find an untapped niche, develop a product using  a low supply product with natural barriers to entry, develop the supply chain, market the heck out of the health benefits, and sell sell sell. He writes out the business plan, ready for the big pitch and goes out for a congratulatory drink.

When he goes out, his 16 year old son comes back and sees the pitch, and decides to play a prank on his dad. He replaces the plan with a single typewritten sheet.

“Take the most abundant generic source(i.e. cheapest) of protein in the world, process them in bulk into a black liquid, put them into little bottles and convince parents that this black liquid  helps their kids do well in exams. and sell sell sell.”

SO this piece of paper ends up in the hands of the powers that be, they miraculously approve it, it succeeds beyond their wildest dreams and they laugh all the way to the bank.

I mean REALLY, … essence of CHICKEN?

From a profits standpoint, it does make sense of course, I mean each bottle costs about as much as a whole chicken.

However, when compared with the equation above,  in this case, the equation is skewed. There are an estimated 7 times more chickens than there are human beings in the world. There is absolutely no scarcity. The price of chicken, since it is the most abundant source of meat in the world, is low.

Health benefits wise, we all know that chicken soup is good for colds…  and perhaps our souls, but as far as I know, there aren’t many  health benefits associated with chickens.

So just WHAT are they selling?

Lets break it down, Chickens are  familiar, and do not commit any major crimes in, texture, colour, smell and association. Chicken based liquids also taste fantastic. When made into a soup,  chicken soup has feel-good benefits, in both western and Asian cultures

By association then, Liquids associated with chickens = taste good and has positive associations  =  Has to be good for you.

Taking that association, it forms the beginning of the story . Perhaps….

Once upon a time, there was a 12 year old boy, who was taking his PSLE, and his mother wanted to give him every advantage to  do well…….. “

and THAT is the main story, one of  overcoming fear and performing parental due dilligence. The drink then serves as an outlet for a mother to express love and concern and nurture.

For that, I suppose, it is worth the price of admission.

Still,  If it were me, Id probably just go out and buy KFC for my kid every day. Im sure that would get me the “parent of the year” award and  he would probably do  just as well.

And yet, I do wish I had thought of it first.  😉


JoelEssence of Chicken – A Marketing Triumph.