To quote from the wikipedia article you linked:
"Synthetic vanillin is now used more often than natural vanilla extract as a flavoring agent in foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals.
Vanillin and ethylvanillin are used by the food industry;"
I don’t doubt that the FOOD INDUSTRY uses vanillin more than vanilla. Is that what you meant when you posted a picture of McCormick Imitation Vanilla Extract and said it was the largest selling product in the USA? Because I don’t know that more vanillin is sold in RETAIL STORES to home cooks than real vanilla - that would surprise me frankly and I would be even more surprised if the people buying a product that says IMITATION right on it would be unaware that they were purchasing an IMITATION.
The price of vanilla has gone up recently but not enough to make me start buying vanillin instead.
With truffle oil it’s different - I believe you’re right that many people don’t know it’s a laboratory-created product. Although I wonder if anyone on Hungry Onion doesn’t know it - we discussed that very NYT article you linked at great length over on CH when it was first published.