A PR Roundup

PR is really important in the food industry. Small organizations that don’t have many resources rely on it to do a great many things for them that they would otherwise have to pay more to do. Large organizations with plenty of money that use it well do so deftly to imperceptibly reinforce their brand image. Really unsubtle PR, the kind that’s often deployed by industry front groups, where you have to wonder who will believe anything the organization says, is my favorite, though.

An Organization That Needs PR

Remember how I was saying that other varieties of citrus in the wrong place could wreak havoc with seedless citrus? Today, the Fresno Bee has a story about a very large citrus-growing company warning property owners and beekeepers that they could be sued if they do not move their bees at least two miles away from certain citrus groves. One of the varieties mentioned in that article is the W. Murcott I enjoyed so much.

I’m wondering how they’ll get the word out to the insect community. I suppose it’ll be good for all of those out-of-work bee process servers.

And speaking of bees (B’s) confidential to my U2 friends – happy B-day.

An Organization That’s All PR

Seemingly reacting to Eric Schlosser’s new book for adolescents, (they can’t be reacting to Fast Food Nation five years later, can they?) a group of 18 ag and food producers have formed the organization Best Food Nation to make a point – that flags, pictured along with a variety of foods in the header, (including bananas, which do not grow in the U.S.) are a healthy part of a balanced diet. No, that can’t be it. It must be that Eric Schlosser is bringing all these industries down single-handedly. No, that can’t be it. It must be that they want to fulfill America’s need for apologist FAQs. (Much more where that came from – click on each of the “Industry Facts” links for a FAQ on that item.)

An Organization That Knows What it’s Doing With PR

Industry experts estimate that it cost Kraft “tens of millions of dollars” to retool the Oreo into a trans-fat free version. The new ones are coming to stores now and the change is not noted on the package, though it is on Triscuits and Wheat Thins. They did the right thing – they understood that being trans-fat free was going to become the price of entry, even in cookies – and when they got there, understanding that it had become that, they didn’t crow about having gotten to that point.

I stopped eating trans fats ten years ago now, when people still thought I was nuts for doing so. What do you mean margarine is bad for you? I heard that a lot. Now, though, even Cheez-Its have had their partially hydrogenated vegetable oil removed. Do I start eating Cheez-Its again? Probably not.

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