Missing the point on value

Wow, sorry milk manufacturers but these comments make you sound insane:

Milk product manufacturer Goodman Fielder’s head of dairy, Peter Reidie, said yesterday that the debate around the price of milk had created a false perception about the value of milk.

Goodman Fielder took 210 million litres of the 600 million that Fonterra was required to make available to competitors, and sold to supermarkets.

A 2-litre bottle of branded milk for $4.80 “is outstanding value, and we are talking the New Zealand consumer in to saying that it isn’t“, Reidie said.

“So they are buying Coca-Cola or V or something else instead, and that is not good messaging.”

Ok.  Consumers know what milk is.  They know what coke is.  They can see the price of both in front of them.  They choose coke because the relative price of milk is too high … implying that the value they receive from it is too low.  The consumer says this.

Instead of accepting that, the milk manufacturer is saying “you should be willing to pay more for milk”.  That is his entire comment.

This has nothing to do with the “debate around milk” and it has everything to do with the relative price of milk being higher than other substitute goods.  Given that this high price represents the scarcity of milk, that is fine.  Given that consumers are substituting away given these prices this is fine.  However, there is no merit to the idea that “consumers aren’t buying milk because they don’t realise how good it is” – that sounds like the comment of a desperate sales person.