Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: The Cheese Edition

I think it is safe to say that nearly everyone loves cheese. However, our preferences in types of cheese vary greatly as one person might swear by the stinky stuff and at the same time deplore Kraft singles while another might hold the opposite opinion. Why is this the case, and furthermore, could it be possible that your socioeconomic background plays a role as to the kind of cheese you favor?

In Michael J. Weiss' article entitled "A Tale of Two Cheeses," it's suggested that the city of Washington D.C. is dichotomous in almost every way: black or white, rich or poor, Democratic or Republican, and most importantly to us, fans of Velveeta or Brie.

According to Weiss, D.C.-based Brie lovers are generally white-collar professionals and suburbanites who are college-educated and earn six-figure incomes. Their love for Brie accounts for the area's 13 percent market penetration rate, which is more than twice the 5 percent national average.

This greatly contrasts with the Velveeta demographic, who are usually middle-class families that live in predominantly black neighborhoods and hold down blue-collar, service-oriented jobs. In contrast with the Brie statistics, however, the D.C. area's Velveeta market penetration rate is lower than that of the nation (14 and 16 percent, respectively).

This isn't to say that Brie and Velveeta are always pitted against each other West Side Story-style, as there's no doubt that there are households that consume both, but it looks as though it doesn't happen much in most of Washington given the "almost total lack of crossover appeal between Brie and Velveeta." Sigh. Can't the Sharks and Jets just get along? Either way, take all of this information with a grain of salt. The article was written for a publication entitled American Demographics after all.


kc said...

In my opinion, they're both gross.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I think I'll pass on both of those as well. Bring on the cheddar!