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The Rebranding of 6 Popular Food Items

Prunes, aka Dried Plums
Prunes rank at the very top of the “Things That Are Closely Identified with Old People” list, making them a tough sell to anyone other than older folks. The fruit, which is extraordinarily high in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, gained a bad reputation in the United States, even though people from other countries consider it a normal and healthy snack. In 2000, California prune growers decided to rebrand the fruit as a “dried plum” in order to distance it from images of the elderly, laxatives, and nursing homes.

Chinese Gooseberry, aka Kiwifruit
In another case of Americans and our fruit prejudices, importers in the 1960s decided that the Chinese gooseberry, imported from New Zealand, needed a makeover. They decided to rename it kiwifruit to honor the flightless national bird of New Zealand. Once the new name took hold, sales took off.

Baby Carrots, aka Junk Food
In an attempt to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, carrot farmers have unveiled what’s believed to be the first marketing campaign expressly intended to boost sales of a single vegetable. Their message: carrots are just as cool as other crunchy, neon-orange chips, doodles, and snacks. According to USA Today, the twenty-five-million-dollar plan includes packaging baby carrots in junk food–style packaging, selling them in vending machines, and circulating catchy slogans like “The original orange doodle.” The goal is to create an image of carrots as sexy, tasty, youthful, and “extreme.”

Would a prune by any other name taste as sweet? Well, in the eye of the American consumer, a name is everything, and these products have risked everything to become something more palatable, more approachable, and more profitable. People may be turned off by high-fructose corn syrup, but who can resist the sweet appeal of corn sugar? In the eyes of these products’ manufacturers, hopefully not you.

Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Food, , ,

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414 comments

+ add your own
4:36AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

great info ... and omg on "Canola" oil! i use extra virgin olive oil for almost everything. however, i must admit my ignorance on canola oil.

6:03AM PDT on Jul 13, 2011

noted with thanks for the posting, learned alot!

4:29AM PDT on Jul 13, 2011

so that is what "a canola" is.

6:24AM PST on Mar 5, 2011

canola, bad, yes. toxic. google it.

1:30PM PDT on Nov 5, 2010

That's weird!

9:46AM PDT on Nov 5, 2010

Interesting article, thanks!

9:58AM PDT on Nov 4, 2010

My uncle once ate several bowls of "dried plums" before anyone told him what they were. I've never claimed to have a bright family, but who doesn't know that?
Also, my sister loves kiwifruit. I shall have to ask her if she wants a Chinese Gooseberry.

Great post!

7:46PM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

Great article. Though I must say I like baby carrots - surely it's not the same as a chocolate bar!

4:13AM PDT on Oct 22, 2010

interesting! thanks!

4:31PM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

Interesting, thanks for posting.

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