I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who wonders how Edible Arrangements continues to exist:
WALLINGFORD, CT—Upending more than two centuries of free-market theory, leading economists across the globe announced Thursday that the fundamental principles of capitalism had been “irrefutably disproved” by the continued existence of the designer fruit-basket company Edible Arrangements.
According to experts, the Connecticut-based franchise, which arranges skewered pieces of fruit into displays vaguely resembling floral bouquets, has defied all modern economic models, expanding continuously for the past decade despite its complete lack of any discernible consumer appeal.
“In theory, the market should have done away with Edible Arrangements long ago,” said American Economic Association president Orley Ashenfelter, who added that one of the crucial assumptions of capitalism is the idea that businesses producing undesired goods or services will fail. “That’s how it’s supposed to work. Yet somehow, despite offering no product of any worth whatsoever, this company not only makes payroll every week, but also generates strong profits.”
The whole article is pretty fantastic. My favorite part is this:
An unofficial survey conducted by Stiglitz found that not one of the AEA’s 18,000 members had ever purchased or received an Edible Arrangement or knew of anyone who had, indicating that the franchise was operating in “some advanced realm of economics” in which the so-called profit motive no longer applied.
Stiglitz must have relied on sampling techniques, since I was never explicitly asked, but I can’t refute his conclusion. I do know, however, that my best friend called Edible Arrangements once to see if they could make something for me out of Laffy Taffy (look, I like what I like) and was turned away. This anecdote just serves to reinforce my suspicion regarding the notion that the company actually provides something that the consumer wants. (Please don’t make me acknowledge that perhaps my preferences are not representative.)
I suppose that, despite what some economists might say, there really is no accounting for tastes. Also, Edible Arrangements can eat its heart out: