The Velvetta Standard

Written by Kathleen Packard
Monday, January 20, 2014

Ok, it’s more orange than gold. It’s gooey, which is never good for a portable money standard. A monetary standard should be hard and clink when it is dropped.  Velveeta is simply too tasty to last – especially among those who want to spread it on their nachos rather than exchange it for goods and services.

Moreover, Velveeta is subject to the vagaries of the National Football League. Bloomberg Business Week has reported that the “Velveeta shortage first reported by Ad Age on Tuesday morning, with some of the more concerned already calling it ‘cheesepocalypse.’ The culprit: high demand as the National Football League playoffs kick into high gear, the company claims.” Vanessa Wong wrote:

It could be that we’re buying a lot more of the yellow foodstuff. Euromonitor International estimates dollar sales of Velveeta cheese increased by 23.7 percent in the U.S. last year. The Velveeta brand, which includes processed cheese as well as pasta and casserole meal kits, benefited last year from Kraft’s marketing spend on Velveeta Cheesy Skillets, said Virginia Lee, an analyst at the firm, in an e-mail. Brand sales in the U.S. were up an estimated 16.3 percent.

Although a Kraft Foods spokesman maintained that the Velveeta shortage was a short-term problem, she admitted that it came at the product’s “ busiest time of year.” Still, there was some suspicion that the “shortage” was simply an attempt to boost sales.

There is always the possibility that Kraft chose to taper off its manufacturing capacity in an attempt to wean Americans off nachos. Where is Janet Yellen when you need her?