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Value And The Macaron Effect

Let’s face it, a macaron isn’t even a bite. It’s gone before you know it and although your brain knows you’ve had one, your stomach could beg to differ. Macarons have been around for centuries, but I don’t remember seeing the dainty, coloured, every flavoured, sandwiched confections that are ubiquitous now, even a few years ago. And they’re expensive for what they are in any language, doesn’t matter if it’s $3 or €3.

A lot of people don’t ‘get’ macarons.

“This is the single most overpriced thing in the history of capitalism. It’s a single, stupid little macaroon.”
—Rory Sutherland


Macarons are not designed for Rory, they are marketed to a sensibility and dare I say it, to women. Their value is highly subjective. The thing about a macaron is that much of its value is perceived.
The real value is psychological and therefore intangible.
It’s a sweet ‘treat’ with damage limitation built in.
A macaron is mostly almonds and egg white, low in fat, gluten free (two things we’ve come to care about), and so tiny the sugar can hardly count….right? When you’re rationalising about how many minutes on the treadmill it’s going to take to work it off, a macaron feels like a bargain compared to the other available choices in the cake cabinet.

One man’s rip-off, is another woman’s indulgence.

It turns out that like most things we buy, or value when we have everything we need, macarons are not a product, they are a story we tell ourselves.

Image by Katie.

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