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The doily lie

Every year, millions of Jews celebrate Passover by cleaning out their food cabinets and buying special “kosher for passover” foods. These are items that are made in a rabbi-inspected facility. They can’t contain corn or wheat or various leavening agents (that’s why kosher for passover Coke tastes better–no corn syrup).

This leads to one of my favorite seasonal lies. The supermarkets that sell Passover foods (very high margin, by the way) often line their shelves with doilies or white paper. Now, let’s think about this for a minute–what contamination exactly is the doily protecting the food from? Here’s a sterile, canned item, sitting atop a perforated doily, which is on top of a shelf that is presumably washed every once in a while.

Obviously, it’s not the doily. It’s the story behind the doily. It’s the story of a clean start, of something fresh. The same story that the food itself tells, a story that resonates with the worldview of the person who’s shopping for this.

Most existing organizations don’t spend nearly enough time worrying about this subtle sort of story.