Archive for the ‘Food Marketing’ Category

*Not* the soup to be used in your green bean casserole
Photo from landotter’s flickr stream

Here I was, ranting and raving about Kraft OWNING the holidays with their green bean casserole, not even realizing that apparently, they INVENTED the thing to begin with. At first, I felt like it was perverse that the dish that every red-blooded American has to have with their Thanksgiving meal is actually a 50 year-old marketing vehicle for Kraft to push canned soup and canned fried onions to the tune of $70 million a year.

But on the other hand, it *is* easy to make, people do really love it and frankly, you don’t have to have the foggiest idea how to cook in order to make a passable version of it. It may not meet my definition of what food is, but I suppose it’s a step up from some of the other insane crap food companies try to pass off as recipes…after all, not everyone has the time or the inclination to make food out of actual unprocessed ingredients, right? Right?

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Photo from sparkieg’s flickr stream

Came across a press release from Del Monte today (although who knows how old it is). Buried in an avalanche of standard corporate blah-blah was this little nugget (emphasis mine):

The PBH’s Fruit & Veggies – More Matters health initiative guides families to eat more fruits and vegetables at every meal occasion. To help in this effort, Del Monte offers a broad selection of conveniently packaged, nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables and tomatoes, under the Del Monte®, S&W®, Contadina®, Fruit Naturals®, Orchard Select® and Sunfresh® brands. These products provide families with many realistic ways to incorporate more healthy foods into their daily lives.

This kind of shit sets me off. Realistic ways to incorporate more healthy foods into your daily life?? What the fuck is that supposed to mean? As if it would be so UNrealistic to expect you to go buy a peach and just eat that. That would be crazy. It would be so much more realistic to expect you to buy a jar of fruit swimming in corn syrup, dump it on a pint of ice cream and call that your fruit for the day. Clearly, I must be insane to think that fresh fruit from a farm is tastier, healthier and not more difficult to prepare than branded, mass-marketed fruit from the center aisle of the supermarket.

Now, I know not everyone can afford pedigreed, heirloom, organic whatever to satisfy their nutritional needs. And that pedigreed, heirloom, organic whatever is not going to be available at your convenience at the nearest Safeway or bodega. But that doesn’t make it more “realistic” for people to eat some nasty-ass pale imitation of real fruit out of a jar.

I’m not crazy. People far sager than I get incensed by this kind of thing.

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