Milk vs Water: A perspective to make you think differently.

It’s no use crying over spilled milk, but water on the other hand. A perspective of milk vs water to make you think differently.

The word perspective is one, which I had little understanding of for a long time. Now it is a word, which I frequently use in life. When your life changes drastically financially as mine did, it may well be the greatest perspective builder you ever experience. Having gone from a family, that the marketing world refers to as a DINK (double income no kids), both employed by better than average paying corporate jobs and then the both of us being made redundant within a week of each other. This was the biggest single life changing event that could have ever happened. We lived in a reality where the possibility of one of us to lose our job, it’s the world we currently live in, but for us both to be made redundant within a week, is no circumstance. It was a genuine sign.

I used to live by this rule, it went something along the lines of: I knew I would be financially comfortable when I was in a position where I didn’t have to think about money. Little did I realise, I was already in that position. It was perspective that made me realise this. The idea of going to work doing a ‘job’ and getting paid for it, is a lot different to having to figure out how to earn enough money to live on your own. Why not try running your own business? When I entered that world of independence from any corporate job, was the moment I realised, I had to take off my hat off to every single person who is self-employed. This world is very emotionally and physically strenuous, but also very rewarding.

This idea of perspective made me begin thinking of many things in the world, looking at things from another point of view. In a world where the cost of living increases day by day. It’s not new news, the pricing war on milk has now created somewhat of a pricing conundrum. Milk as a product is innately the same thing, no matter what badge it has on the front label. It is dairy farmed from cows and then it is processed. So you would think, such a process would have very high costs. Of course, it’s no secret that dairy farming is an expensive industry to be involved with, but when you look at the price of Milk vs bottled water, you start thinking, something seems odd here.

The first conundrum, the cost of producing milk is one, which continually rises. The increased cost of utilities over recent years, would add up to a small fortune for these dairy farmers. But the farmers have increasing costs of production on one end but they also have pressures to decrease the cost of selling their products, which seems crazy. The end result a reduction in price to the end consumer, what a great thing. But let’s not worry about the dairy farmers situation, where costs are rising and selling price is reducing. Their profit margins have had to have plummeted over that time. But why? The consumer of course, and companies like Coles and Woolworths getting the tick of approval from their consumers, underneath the guise of decimating an industry that is quickly becoming unprofitable.

A harsh reality is the consumer never asked for the price of milk to be lowered, it was purely done in a stunt to win over the consumer. To gain market share. Milk being one of the highest sold products in the supermarket, it was a massive carrot to dangle in front of the consumer. But how long is this going to last? When the supermarket world consists of two major players who together own around 80% of the market. It just seems silly. Of course your competitor is going to immediately swing over and match your pricing. How long did that stunt last? How much market share did you gain? Of course not much. But they will of course argue that this has helped with their pricing perception to the consumer. Are you kidding me? This new normal is a killer to the industry.

This is where perspective comes in handy. Milk’s poor brother, water. When it comes to perspective this is a whole other kettle of fish. Two litres of milk from Coles brand will set you back $2.00 (one dollar a litre). Two litres of Coles brand water will cost $1.54 (77 cents a litre). Look at the cost of dairy milk production versus the cost of bottling water and the maths just doesn’t add up. But wait a minute why are people buying bottled water for? The water, which comes from your tap is perfectly safe and is of the highest quality (assured by Melbourne Water). It comes in at a whopping cost of a quarter of a cent per litre or $2.24 per Kilolitre (1000 litres). Now thats a whole new level of perspective.

The last bit of perspective comes from the wise people of Mount Franklin water marketing. What an amazing website they have. The all revealing, but somewhat confusing truth’s page. They state that their bottles are perfectly safe, that even the substantial heat inside a car during summer is not hot enough to create a carcinogenic effect with the bottles. The next question about the environmental friendly effect of reusing the bottles is then rebutted with ‘for health reasons, we recommend you do not refill bottles because of potential bacteria’. Oh that’s right, that perfectly safe water you are pouring from your tap is dangerous. So much for recycling, just buy more please. Come on!

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