Monday, February 20, 2012

Competition Is Good For Consumer

The recent debacle about which bread represented which race has left a bitter taste in the mouth. Something as simple as bread could be made into a racial hoo-ha that if you now look back, sounded very silly.
Suggested reading : Berita Semasa on The Bread War. Factual writing that deserves a mention. Image taken from Berita Semasa
Gardenia official reply as per their webpage
Now, like it or not, all companies in the country is to an extend a crony company. Everyone is benefiting from each other. Th symbiosis process has been in existence and been the main reason why the different races community are cohesive and coherent to earn money and to make ends meet.
For someone to throw allegation on why Gardenia and why Massimo, it is like telling (again, food into racial issue) why Pepsi and why Coke; and, why McDonalds and why KFC.
As middle income earner in Malaysia, struggling to make ends meet and ensuring a comfortable living condition for the family, COST is the single most important factor when it comes to buying groceries and household items.
I lost count of the time i lost standing at the aisle wondering if i should buy Milk X that cost RM4.30 or Milk Y that will cost me RM4.50.
I believe you too, has been driven more to buy Massimo at RM1.90 (wholewheat with wheat germs) as opposed to spending RM2.80 for Gardenia's Wholemeal bread, right?
The maths is simple - it is NOT about which race produces what bread, as i believe as a Malaysian company, unless you practice extreme racial composition, there will be a multiracial/multi religious/multi ethnic workforce. We can't live without our Ahmad, Ah Seng and Muthu (coincidence in name to real life person is much regretted).
The more subjective friends has said that Massimo apart from being CHEAPER, has way much better TASTE too.
That i have to agree.
Unlike many others, friends that think like me based our purchases on COST and TASTE.
However, as me and my family are practicing clean eating, the purchases of mass produced bread are based on need (when we failed to have homemade bread at home).
Now that Massimo bread price is back to their pre-introductory prices (of RM1.90/loaf) to full RM2.50/loaf, the decision to buy Gardenia or Massimo is sort of levelled. There is no more preferences based on COST.
Having said that, I went to buy a loaf of bread at the local grocery store this morning. Massimo was not available at the shop, i believe based on the arrangement NOT to stock them up based on the "bread war".
Imagine my surprise when i saw that Gardenia now has new variant of bread in the market - three new type to be exact.
They now have the Herbal Mediterranean Mixed Grains sold as Passione Italiana, The Le Classique Sesawhite sold as Bonjour, and Multigrain & Seeds sold as Sommerset Cottage. 
I don't quite like the names to be frank, it is at best wannabe. We all know there is NO Italian bakers recipe in any of the commercially available bread sold in Malaysia, let alone bread masqueraded with foreign sounding names that only wannabe cliche people can pronounce.
What is available on the shelf
The "French" bread is going for RM3.80 and the "English" bread is going for RM4.80. I have to see the ingredient to justify my purchase, if i want to make an informed (and boring) comparison.
I was pleasantly surprised when i saw the "French" bread having pretty good stuff in them.
Sesame (black and white) and butter as part of the ingredient
For RM3.80 on the sesame bread, it is well priced between their own company products. My only complain is the usage of oil as part of the ingredient when there is already butter - unless the butter ain't butter
Impressed with them having Chia Seed in the bread - question is, HOW much in them? Chia is only potent when taken at least 2teaspoon a day.
Again, with butter too. But WHY the need for vegetable oil? If you are Gluten intolerant, best stay off this variant as it stated Gluten to be in their ingredient. I will write about Gluten soon. Stay tuned.
On the surface, these two bread looked promising by offering more varieties to the consumer. This is most useful for those that plan to stop taking highly processed commercial bread and incorporate it into their daily diet. However, for advance dieter wary of what they are going to put in their mouth, i will give this a pass. And with the price to be only RM1.70(comparing against the RM4.80 "English" bread) off from the Adventist Sprouted Grain Bread, i will settle for the real deal that has fantastic ingredient that you really know exist.
Sprouted Grain Bread. Won't go wrong.
So, weighing in the COST and TASTE factor and with limited choices (of brands) available, i settled for a loaf of RM2.40 WHITE Gardenia bread. It has what i expected it to have, without having to second guess what other new things it is inside. Let this be the last White i will buy for the family. 
The Massimo vs. Gardenia bread story would had been much more valuable and interesting when the haters (and racists) starts talking about what these bread company is feeding them as opposed to who is benefiting the most from all these made-believe racial stuffs.
Hope you don't look at your next piece of bread thinking what they are made off. Have a great day ahead.

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