Earlier this week, I got drafted to participate in a focus group. At the time I was doing my little phone screen to make sure I was qualified, they didn’t mention exactly what kind of focus group it was, other then it was pertaining to food. Hey, I have opinions about food and if someone wants to pay me $75 for 1.5 hours of my time while talking about food, I’m totally not turning it down. You know what that damn focus group ended up being about? BEANS. I’m not even kidding. 90 minutes of discussing beans in a room full of 9 women. Not real high on my list of things I enjoy doing. However, I tend to enjoy things quite a bit more when there’s money involved.
We went around the room briefly introducing ourselves, giving some information as to where we live, our marital status, kids, etc. And then, holy cow, did people have some opinions about beans. BEANS.
These ladies talked about the specific types of beans they liked, why they liked them. The beans they didn’t like. What all they used beans for. How many beans were in each can. The health value of beans. The design of the bean cans. The companies that make beans. The different aisles at the grocery store where you might find specific types of beans. The list goes on and on and on. I didn’t have much to say, not much to say at all. You know how I cook beans? I open the can, pour them into a bowl, and stick them in the microwave. It’s a special recipe I like to call BEANS.
The biggest argument that I can’t possibly get out of my head was the argument on which aisle the beans from companies like Kuner’s (who makes Southwestern style beans), La Preferida (their name sounds Spanish, of course!), and Goya (they have Spanish words printed on their labels) should go. It was an overwhelming decision that these beans should be in the ethnic food aisle. And these ladies? They had some WAY strong opinions on this. I couldn’t have possibly cared less. Not even if I tried.
I may not be invited back to participate in focus groups here actually. The moderator was asking if those of us who loved beans would ever visit bean manufacturer’s websites to get ideas on what to have for dinner. She directly asked me if this was something I would do since I admittedly said I loved beans and I tried to end the discussion civilly by saying no. She asked why not. I explained it the best I could. I told her I loved chicken a lot, too, but that doesn’t mean I’d go to chicken dot com to find out what kind of chicken dish I should make for dinner. Everyone laughed. Except for the moderator. I think she wanted to kick me out.