In the early 1900s, Eldon Roth figures out a way to profit from slaughterhouse meat trimmings, by-products that were once only used in pet food and cooking oil. This cheap and safe beef product is called “lean, finely textured beef” (LFTB). The fatty bits of beef and heated with a puff of ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria. You’ve probably eaten many hamburgers that included LFTB prepared from fast-feeders at school cafeteria, or even in your kitchen. LFTB makes ground beef leaner and cheaper. Shortly after it was developed, a health safety inspector dubbed LFTB “pink slime”, but the name didn’t become public until the major “pink slime” media brouhaha erupted in 2012. Consumers are repulsed to learn that they were eating unappealing beef parts that were “soaked in ammonia” Sale of ground beef fell 11 percent in one month. Ground beef producer AFA Foods sought bankruptcy protection and Cargill lost 80 percent of its customers. The industry’s leading LFTB manufacturer, Beef Products, Inc., shuttered 75 percent of its processing plants and laid off 650 workers. McDonalds and other fast-feeders, supermarkets, and institional buyers such as schools and hospital discontinued using beef products containing LFTB, even though the safe and inexpensive product has been around for many years.
**What was the uproar over LFTB warranted, given the fact that it is a product deemed safe for consumption by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration? Research other types of products that are included in consumer products that could face a similar fate if consumers were aware of them.
**Explain the type of buying situation faced by the companies that dropped the use of LFTB. Describe the buying decision process they likely went through to find a replacement product.