Recently I had the opportunity to work as a carnie. It was surprisingly fun making funnel cakes, scones (friend bread not the baked scones) and cotton candy.
On a side note if you have never made cotton candy it is actually a mess! You get it in your hair. your eyes(it burns) and pretty much on your entire body.
Anyways, as I was cranking out the delicious treats and the line was never ending, I got to thinking. I wonder how many POUNDS of weight we gain eating funnels cakes.
We can safely assume that there is some type of carnival going on in each state in the country on any given weekend. That means there at least 50 carnivals, fairs, amusement parks, etc happening at the same time across the country on any given day. I think we can all agree that this is shooting low, but it makes numbers easy.
I asked the people I was working with for some ball park numbers on how many of each products they sell during one day at a fair. Here are some of the numbers:
On average, the company i worked with, sold 400 funnel cakes (pictured to the left) in one day. This means that 492,400 calories of funnel cakes were eaten. That means that Americans gained 140 pounds just from eating funnel cakes at one fair or park. This doesn’t count the other stuff we sold.
Our most popular item was lemonade. I got the recipe and ran the number for a 32 ounce glass (I used 24 ounces of lemonade with 8 ounces of ice per each cup sold) which has about 350 calories!
So if 30 gallons (the average per day) of lemonade were sold, then this means that 54,000 calories were drank. Meaning Americans gained only 15 pounds from lemonade (again at one park), thank God!
As you can see this was happening at least 50 times all over the country so Americans gained 7000 pounds from funnel cakes and 750 pounds from lemonade. What are we doing to ourselves?
I point these numbers out for a very intentional reason. While the numbers are true and relevant it is appalling to think about gaining 7000 pounds in 1 day. In fact, this is how advertisers distort numbers. The truth of the matter is that while 400 funnel cakes were consumed in 1 day we have NO idea what that person ate that day or how much they walked or even if they split it with 12 other people.
In reality we have a set point and our bodies like to stay at a certain weight. Therefore even though nearly 500,000 calories were consumed in funnel cakes the odds are we didn’t gain any weight, but the title is catchy, numbers are scary and you read this whole article.
This is how we market to people. And like other good marketers please share this as I am hoping you found it to be an amusing article and insightful.