Last year, business battened down the hatches and prepared for a hunger year. As I parodied in another cartoon at the time, a few companies with deep pockets used this opportunity to invest, but most companies cut back and slashed budgets. Some tightened their belts more than others.
Budget cuts test to force priorities, and the immediate essentials usually trump the long-term. The innovation pipeline is often one of the first casualties.
Innovation is the lifeblood of consumer products. Retailers are constantly hungry for new products and brands need to feed the beast or they risk losing space. Yet this year, many of the pantries are empty, and companies are playing catch-up to pay for last year’s short-sightedness.
It all reminds me of a classic Simpson’s sketch, which I reference within this cartoon:
Lisa: There’s nothing to eat for breakfast.
Homer: You gotta improvise.
Lisa (going through the fridge): Cloves, Tom Collins mix, frozen pie crust…
To inspire those of you staring at an empty pantry, I thought it was funny that a Simpson’s fan actually tried to make a Clove and Tom Collins pie. What recipes are you going to make this year?
Here’s another cartoon I drew on the subject in 2004.