In fact, there are lots of good reasons to complicate your product – or, as the industry prefers to say, to “add value” to it. Processing food can add months, even years, to its shelf life, allowing you to market globally. Complicating your product also allows you to capture more of the money a consumer spends on food. Of a dollar spent on a whole food such as eggs, $0.40 finds its way back to the farmer. By comparison, George Naylor will see only $0.04 of every dollar spent on corn sweeteners; ADM and Coca-Cola and General Mills capture most of the rest. (Every farmer I’d ever met eventually gets around to telling the story about the food industry executive who declared, “There’s money to be made in food, unless you’re trying to grow it.”) When Tyson food scientists devised the chicken nugget in 1983, a cheap bulk commodity – chicken – overnight became a high-value-added product, and most of the money Americans spend on chicken moved from the farmer’s pocket to the processor’s.
Source: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Large Print Press), Pages: 95
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