Our Office Snacks Suffer at the Hands of the Bradley Effect

Our office vending machine. Photo: Getty Images

In what was perhaps a nod to the election year, the powers that be at New York Magazine recently allowed the entire staff to vote on which items would be sold via the vending machine in the kitchen. In what is, we hope, not a nod to the election year, the results demonstrated a strong Bradley Effect. That, if you will recall, is the name for the phenomenon in which minority candidates poll higher than they should because racist people are too embarrassed to tell pollsters that they don’t care for the colored fella. (Many pollsters don’t believe that is occurring in this election, if it in fact ever has.) In snack-based terms, this means that voters, aware that their requests would be read by our office managers, asked for products that are healthier than the junk food they actually wanted. Hence, Doritos were shut out, while “Mr. Nature Trail Mix” and “Geni Soy Crisps BBQ” were among our top three vote-getters (along with, thank God, Peanut M&Ms).
Fortunately, and we are not making this up, our vendor has discontinued sales of all Geni Soy products because of the Bradley Snack Effect, which is to say they’ve run snack elections in other offices and discovered that people don’t eat soy chips nearly as often as they ask for them. A replacement has been selected (Multi-Grain Crisp products), and it seems adequate — but let us all pray that, on January 20, we don’t find ourselves swearing in the Apple Cinnamon Multi-Grain Crisp version of Barack Obama.