Sell the benefits, not the product
In the mid-1920s, legendary American salesman Elmer Wheeler coined the phrase, “Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak.” He encouraged salespeople to focus on the benefits derived from a product rather than the product itself. That one saying became a philosophy which saw he and others not only survive the Great Depression, but actually prosper from it.
That same philosophy has been wholeheartedly embraced by the commercial dog food industry ever since they perfected the process of producing extruded dry dog food, kibble, in the mid-1950s. Only now it’s called dog food advertising!
All sizzle, no steak!
Selling the sizzle, not the steak, has become a way of diverting people’s attention away from the fact that kibble is produced by:
- Assembling a mixture of cheap, highly questionable ingredients. Largely the waste products from human food production.
- Forcing them through a machine called an expander or extruder. This turns the ingredients into a dough-like substance completely unrecognizable as food.
- Cooking the material with pressurized steam or hot water at exceptionally high temperatures. Until it is completely without nutritional value, taste or goodness.
- Cutting it into small pieces.
- Drying these small pieces to remove any remaining moisture.
- Spraying the resulting pieces, now known as kibble, with fats, oils, synthetic vitamins and minerals. This gives the impression of vaguely smelling and tasting like food to our unwitting canine friends.
- And then sealing these pieces of kibble in a bag so that those oils and fats don’t go off before you feed them to your dog. Which could of course be anything up to eighteen months and more later.
Questionable benefits, dubious products
There may be benefits in terms of convenience. But how are they achieved and at what cost in the long run to the health and wellbeing of our dogs? As human beings we might be able to survive on pizza. But for how long and at what cost to our long-term health?
Surely man’s loyal best friend for centuries deserves better than artificial food, twice a day for the entirety of its life.
Whoever coined the phrase “That’s no way to treat a dog,” must have coined it with kibble in mind. Then again. That’s dog food advertising for you!