If I told you I’d eaten something, let it go through my system, then ‘passed’ it, would you want to touch it, let alone eat it?
What about if I told you my my cat had eaten something, then plopped it out into its litter tray – would you eat it? Would you pay money for it?
I’m going to assume that your answer to all of the above questions is ‘no’ (if not, please stay a safe distance from me).
However, consider this: two of the most expensive coffees in the world are –
*Civet coffee (Kopi Luwak) – from Indonesia, where Civets (small catlike creatures) eat coffee fruits and the seeds are left, undigested, in their droppings, then roasted.
Cost = £120 – £240 per kilo (standard coffee, from supermarkets, is around £16 per kilo)
*Black Ivory – from Northern Thailand, where coffee beans are fed to elephants, digested, and collected from the dung.
Cost = £685 per kilo (???)
Other than astute marketing, emphasising the rarity of these products (including the ‘interesting’ production methods) and, therefore, their exclusivity, how on earth could you get people to part with such ridiculous sums for a drink that’s been sh*t out by an animal?
That’s all it takes though: a bit of marketing, an audience – with more money than sense – who buy things simply on the basis of ‘well it must be good if that’s how they make it’, and a ‘me too’ market who see others buying it and do likewise.
If ever there were proof that marketing works, convincing people to pay a 4,200% mark-up (standard coffee price Vs Ivory Black), on a product that’s fallen out of the bum of an animal, has to be it.