Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fast Facts for Kudler Fine Foods

A version of this article appeared on eHow.com, in the Business section.

None of these gourmet items can be purchased
at a Kudler Fine Foods location near you.
Kudler Fine Foods is probably the most famous gourmet food shop that's never sold a single morsel of food: nary a wheel of cave-aged Tuscan cheese, tub of cranberry tapenade, nor soy-ink-printed box of hand-rolled, Earl Grey-scented, sea-salt-dusted chocolate truffles. That's because, despite its being the subject of thousands of marketing analyses available on the Internet, Kudler Fine Foods is fictional.

Textbook Exercise

In the "Marketing" textbook by Roger Kerin, Stephen Hartley and William Rudelius, a fictional chain of gourmet markets named Kudler Fine Foods serves as an example for study. A variety of hypothetical situations facing the company is posed for students to solve and analyze. Thousands of papers written in response can be downloaded from the Internet.

Fast Facts

The fictional Kudler Foods has three locations in southern California. The first shop was opened in La Jolla in 1998 by one Kathy Kudler, a visionary woman who wanted one spot where she could buy everything she needed to make dinner and believed launching a chain of gourmet markets was the solution. The Del Mar and Encinitas locations were underway within five years, and the quest for the perfect location for a fourth shop is left as an exercise for students.

Possible Inspiration

Josef von Kudler was an influential economist in the Smithian cameralist tradition. In the 1850s and 1860s, his works were standard reading in Austrian universities. Kudler's belief that value is not inherent in goods, but arises from the intensity of people's desire for them, seems to fit nicely with the concept of a purveyor of expensive versions of ordinary food items. Using the name Kudler for a gourmet shop in a marketing textbook may be a tribute to this historical figure.


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