The Foods that Make Billions

The Foods that Make Billions

2010, Economics  -   23 Comments
Ratings: 8.66/10 from 179 users.

The Foods that Make Billions is a series looking at how big business feeds us. Starting with a look at the bottled water industry, moving through cereals and finally looking at yoghurt, these three episodes explore the history of how these simple commodities have become staple products, part of the global diet.

Liquid Gold looks at the competitive dynamics between two of the global leaders in the bottled water marketplace: Nestle and Danone. Episode one unpacks the brand philosophy and big business strategy behind these big hitters in the industry. But why would you buy something that you could get for free from the tap? This documentary looks at the marketing and advertising strategies used by big business to create demand that results in the distribution of millions of bottles of water around the world.

Episode two tells the story of a modern marketing miracle: the story of the breakfast cereal. The Age of Plenty investigates the processing, marketing and advertising behind a breakfast that has singularly impacted the way we live. Breakfast cereal marks the birth of modern day "convenience food", invented to make cheap and lifeless corn bits edible and easy to sell, and promoted through reverse psychology, cereal has transformed the way we eat and consequently the way we live. This series tracks the multi-billion dollar breakfast cereal industry, explaining the impact of television advertising on the promotion and sales of breakfast cereals, which endures to this day.

Over the past few decades, yoghurt has hit a stellar trajectory from funny dessert to scientific super food. Marketed as a functional food, yoghurt is the perfect product to satisfy the market's increasing appetite for high nutrition, super healthy foods. Pots of Gold, the final episode in the series, looks at how yoghurt entered the market in the form of a Swiss yoghurt brand which opened up a world of taste to British consumers and etched a space in the market where previously none had existed. "Ski" shows how, by simply adding sugar and fruit, a simple commodity becomes a high-priced necessity. By taking a basic commodity like milk, and manipulating it through processing, packaging and marketing, big business has managed to increase the profit margins of simple products by monumental proportions, resulting in multi-billion dollar industry.

These are the foods that make billions. By employing clever tactics and smart marketing, big business seduces the appetite of the consumer and entices people to spend and spend and spend. This is how global food and beverage empires are built.

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7 years ago

I hate bottled water...mostly...but....sort of dumb documentary in a way.... b/c... They didn't say that Perrier is actually good ! It tastes good, comes in a nice glass battle, it's carbonated. It's not tap water. Perrier is a good product. Good for them ! Why don't they mention " they " made a good product. It's not all marketing. But true, people are sheep and corporations are scum and screw bottle water. But I buy Perrier sometimes because it's good. : )

7 years ago

I appreciate those with whose effort this documentary was created & their objectivity. It's easy to criticize the greedy ambitions of these global giants but I think some responsibility lies with us consumers too in letting them get away with their designs

7 years ago

A fun study in corporate evolution. Someone help me bring back the noble and humble canteen.

8 years ago

That French i*iot butchered Hippocrates quote "let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food."

Just one example why this corps are so ignorant to health. Why eat this processed trash when I can eat WHOLE, REAL food (he says while eating dried figs).

Eventually, I believe the people will become more intelligent about what they eat, and I hope to god—the destructive wake of the industrialization of food—is destroyed itself.

8 years ago

These big businesses are creating foods that are bad for people and our planet. Shame on them and their greed.

9 years ago

What an interesting series. I enjoyed the first segment, about the bottled water industries, the most. Despite our recycling programs here in Ontario, there are plastic water bottles littering the outdoors everywhere I go (and too many paper Tim Hortin's cups to count).

Nick Sant Nicola
9 years ago

...brillant study in manipulation of human mind

9 years ago

Why people would buy bottled water has always been beyond my comprehension when you can easily get the same thing out of your tap. You can even get a reverse osmosis filter for your home for as little as $200.00, and now with the problem of plastic bottles littering the oceans and the world, I can see so no excuse to ever buy bottled water.

9 years ago

This was broadcast in the UK and called "the men who made us spend". Just saying.

9 years ago

naive people would like to see this under 'conspiracy'.