Five-for-one Sale

Today, we’re having a readership special. Woo hoo! Five columns for the price of one. Either I’m being incredibly generous, or I’m suffering from a bad case of attention deficit disorder.

— Congratulations to the United States Potato Board, which launched a $4.5 million advertising campaign to promote the “healthy potato” and to fight the anti-carb forces. The Idaho Potato Commission also launched a $2 million ad campaign. Citrus growers and pasta producers, such as Barilla America, are also fighting back. Isn’t it amazing when an industry has to defend the benefits of orange juice?

Meanwhile, Reston, Va.-based Wirthin Worldwide Research will present an interim review of its consumer research program to the American Bakers Association’s members at its board of governors’ meeting in March. Wirthin will present a final report later this spring at a joint meeting between ABA and the North American Millers’ Association. At that time, the associations’ public relations firm, Mullen of Wenham, Mass., will outline its PR approach. Will the baking industry follow the lead and put up a good fight as well?
— If an image is worth 1,000 words, check out the proposed “New and Innovative Approach to the Food Guide Pyramid” on this page. It’s being promoted on the Atkins’ Web site, and it’s getting thousands of hits each day. Imagine what that would look like on your package. Talk about going from first to last.
— Okay, uncle, uncle! Stop beating up on me. Some low-carb bakery products are actually selling well, and some of the newer generations of reduced-carb items are actually palatable. Then again, many aren’t, and that’s going to hurt the movement. Even Atkins’ followers would rather have a small indulgence than eat some crappy-tasting alternative.
And, okay. This trend may have legs for a portion of the population, which ranges from 10 million to 30 million, but don’t forget about the other 250 million consumers.
— In order to boost readership, I’d like to announce that this column is low-carb.
— Finally, want a promotion or a better job? Have your co-workers nominate you for our Executive of the Year award for next year. For the second year in a row, our executive has gone on to bigger and better things. Talk about picking a winner.
Last year, after being selected as our nominee, Denise Morrison moved from Kraft to become president of global sales and chief customer officer with Campbell Soup. Now Mark Sarvary, president of Pepperidge Farm, is being promoted to president of Campbell Soup North America, a newly formed group that encompasses four business groups, including Pepperidge Farm, with $5 billion in annual sales. Jay Gould, Pepperidge’s chief marketing officer, will take over the baking company, effective March 15.
At least it’s better than the Sports Illustrated curse.
There you have it. Five for one. Not even my local supermarket is crazy enough to do that.
Then think again, Dan. Nothing is ever too crazy.