The Point of Purchase
Miles above the earth, floating in the vast unknown we had just set out to explore, NASA engineers nervously chewed on the first modern nutrition bar around fifty years ago. Formulated by Pillsbury specifically for NASA, “Space Food Sticks”, as they were soon marketed and sold to the masses, were a “non-frozen balanced energy snack in rod form containing nutritionally balanced amounts of carbohydrate, fat and protein.” They came in several popular flavors like peanut butter, caramel, mint, orange, and chocolate. Needless to say, these bars, like Tang, initially sold on the novelty of Space travel alone. Unfortunately, the Space Food Stick was ahead of its time, and once the luster of space travel wore off, so, too, did the popularity of this bar.
However, consumers and retailers alike now realized that, instead of serving just one purpose, products like the Space Food Stick actually satisfied multiple important needs: convenience, quality, nutrition, and cost. Rather than identifying this purchase as a frivolous spend, customers now felt as if they had bought a product which provided essential nutrients for their general well-being in a timely manner that was easy on the wallet.