Mmmm, Guess Talent is no prerequisite to being brand spokesperson

Leave a comment

So, hip-hopping Nicki Minaj flips ‘the bird’ to a Super Bowl audience of tens of millions and ticks off headliner Madonna in the process. And now … and now … she’s a whole lot richer after signing what Forbes calls a “massive” multimillion-dollar deal with Pepsi to push one of its drinks, a new yet-to-be-introduced beverage called Pop. Which proves what, that you don’t need much talent to push for a major marketer these days? I know, I’m at the point in my life where PepsiCo would just as soon leave me behind and hitch their wagon full of goodies to a younger generation, led by the likes of Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne.

What, like Mexico is not a corrupt place? Hey, New York Times, get a clue!

Leave a comment

Here’s the story — The New York Times published an exhaustive story chronicling how “bribery played a persistent and significant role in Wal-Mart’s rapid growth in Mexico.” … Now here’s the truth — What, this is news? We’re talking Mexico, folks, not the Vatican. I’m not saying Walmart did anything, but I am saying it’s hard to get anything done in that corrupt country without greasing someone’s palms. I once asked a Mexican acquaintance involved in helping U.S. companies get started in the Mexican marketplace, so how do you get started? Who do you talk to? “Money talks,” he told me. “There will be people you will have to accommodate to make things happen.” Are you talking under the table? “I am saying,” he smiled, “that it is easier to get things done in Mexico if you know the right people and if you are willing to enrich their lives to make your path easier.” I actually investigated hosting a trends conference in Mexico City when I was publisher of Food Business magazine years ago and learned first-hand how right my friend was. People kept telling me, “the wheels will turn faster if you are generous” to Mister S-and-so”. If Walmart did what the New York Times is charging, well, big fellow, join the pack of companies big and small who have had to pay off Mexican officials to break down the red tape. It is Mexico, it is corrupt, and that is what you do to thrive in a corrupt culture.

“The Prognosticators 2012” symposium set for October 19 in Rosemont, Illinois

Leave a comment

It’s been a while since The Morning Cup held a ‘trends’ event for its readers, but it seems to me this is the right time to bring many of you together for an ‘inside’ look at what’s ahead in product development and innovation for the food and beverage industry. We have a tentative date set of Friday, October 19, 2012, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. We’re right now working on speakers and sponsors for the symposium, entitled “The Prognosticators 2012: What’s in Store for Food Industry Products, Flavors and Innovation”, and I have speakers in mind who I think have a keen sense of where consumers are headed in this decade and what concepts and innovations will be required to meet their needs. This will be a fast-paced, information-packed one day event that will give you a lot of insights to mull while plotting future product development ideas at your own company. Plus, it will be fun and feisty and I look forward to meeting a lot of our readers (I will be your humble moderator). Stay tuned for more information as we build the Prognosticators 2012 agenda.

‘Toxic’ — It’s the Word of the Day for the Sugar Haters

Leave a comment

Jeezus, is the word “toxic” the chosen buzzword of the day now being used by media and other critics of the food and beverage industry to describe sugar? Because it seems like every bleeping day, some critic or nutritionist is writing or blogging about evil ‘toxic’ sugar. You know what toxic means to me? Rat poison! Bug spray. Pesticides. But not sugar, okay.  No one’s arguing that too much sugar is not a problem. Too much of any food or ingredient can or could be a problem. But the anti-sugar cabal goes too far. It tries too hard to scare folks with ominous, deadly warnings about sugar — OMIGOD! SUGAR KILLS! Uh, no, it doesn’t. This is just misleading gobbledy-gook, perpetrated on the American public by people and groups who won’t be happy until we’re all crawling on hands and knees through fields and pastures eating green vegetation and bonding with the farm animals.

Who’s Minding the ‘Mommy’s’ … and the Meanies?

Leave a comment

Every day I scan hundreds of articles and blogs on the internet in search of material I think will be of interest to Morning Cup readers. I am amazed at the growing number of so-called Mommy bloggers who dominate this rising tide with their insights and opinions. Not always sweet and innocent mommy-kid stuff either, but often some tough perspective on companies and their products. And there are lawyers (e.g., Bill Marler, Michele Simon) also blogging, and their perspective on the food industry and its marketers is seldom laudatory. Food companies pay millions to market researchers to tell them what consumers want and what they are eating. There are some researchers who actually have cameras inside consumer homes to monitor behavior. That is all good and valuable insight, but who is monitoring this growing army of lawyers and moms and their often biting (and often wrong) commentary aimed at the industry? A lie or misleading perspective once spread across the internet  is difficult to contain, but it happens every day. Marketers need to be more attentive to this evolving sphere of influence. A company and/or its products can live or die on what’s being said on the internet.

Any way you cut it, you can’t put pink slime back in the barn

Leave a comment

I believe it’s too late to rehabilitate ‘lean, finely textured beef’ or so-called ‘pink slime’. True, big-time politicians like Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad are now on the warpath against the perpetrators of the pink slime scandal; indeed, Branstad wants congress to investigate what he calls a “smear campaign going on against a product that is healthy and safe.” Maybe so, Guv, in fact, I think it is so, but as the saying goes, the horse is already out of the barn and it will be difficult to shoo it back in. And by the way, where were you and all the other proponents of ‘lean, finely textured beef’ when this crazy firestorm first flared up? The guy who coined the ‘pink slime’ label, a microbiologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture named Gerald Zirnstein, used that term in what he thought was a private internal e-mail and somehow it got into the public mainstream. From there, the consumer groups took over. It is now viral and it is now frowned on by millions of consumers, So, how do you reverse that pink slime momentum now? You don’t. You can’t.

‘Destructive Duo’ together again! First, Alar. Now, BPA

Leave a comment

I don’t mean to sound like a creep towards those who rant on about BPA. But, personally speaking, I have never looked at these people in the same way after the now-infamous and long ago alar scare. Remember that one? A false accusation drummed-up by the likes of CBS’ 60 Minutes ended up costing the apple industry more than $100 million. Guess who was behind the alar lie? The leftist activist group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Fenton Communications, who skillfully used the media (i.e., 60 Minutes) and Hollywood mouthpieces like actress Meryl Streep, to damn near ruin the apple industry. And it was all a lie from the get-go. Even former surgeon general C. Everett Koop, himself an activist, said “the truth is that Alar never did pose a health hazard.” So guess who is behind the scare campaign to bring down BPA? That’s right, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the same notorious PR gang at Fenton Communications. So you’ll pardon me if I don’t get all choked up because FDA refused to ban BPA. Maybe it also remembers the shoddy work of the NRDC/Fenton gang in conjuring up the phony alar scare. I sure do.

Older Entries