Category Archives: Food

Power of rebranding: Babe, Bessie and Bambi

There are two categories of meat.

Category 1:

  • Pork.
  • Beef.
  • Venison.

Category 2:

  • Chicken.
  • Turkey.
  • Fish.

It’s pretty messed up to think about eating a cow sandwich. Or a pig chop. Or deer jerky.

The takeaway? Rebranding works.

If it weren’t rebranded, would still eat it? Or would you opt for chicken, turkey or fish instead?

Luxury cars for everyone

Need gas? Fill your tank. Low grade fuel ensures worst performance and shortest running life. Premium grade fuel is the opposite. High performance and longest running life.

I’ve never owned a luxury car, so have never fueled with premium. So what? I still get from point A to point B. And if my car craps out, I’ll buy a new one.

Your body’s relationship with food is similar.

Good news is that everyone was born with luxury body. Bad news is that nobody can purchase a new one once it craps out.

So, what grade of fuel do you use?

Diet Coke Addiction

If you ever thought you had a Diet Coke addiction, you’re not alone. The other good news is that it’s not your fault. You probably don’t have a choice. Thank your brain.

Your brain is the one that’s addicted. Not so much you.  It’s your brain that doesn’t take no for an answer.

Part of it is the caffeine, sure. It’s the #1 addictive drug in the world. Your brain hurts without it.

The other reason for being addicted to Diet Coke? It’s there. Everywhere. Down the hall. Across the street. In the fridge.

A tired brain is a stubborn brain. And a stubborn brain wants instant satisfaction. When your brain knows an ice-cold Diet Coke is within reach, there’s no stopping it.

Want to end your addiction to Diet Coke? Just hide it. Better yet. Toss it out completely.

You won’t miss it.

mcdonalds bulletin board above Chicago El train showing egg white delight and saying all yolks aside

McDonald’s Egg White Delight: Are They Yoking?

My Thoughts on Egg McMuffins Made with Egg Whites

I get asked all the time about McDonald’s Egg White Delight.  Most often, it sounds like, “Yo, Do you care that McDonald’s is using your phrase ‘All yolks aside’ to promote their egg white McMuffin?” My response is always the same.  I laugh.

McDonalds Egg White Delights are def NOT noyoke.  They’re not even worth eating on a rest day.  Here’s why McDonald’s Egg White Delights are not healthy and are no different from all other McDonalds products: Junk.

Yes, McDonald’s Egg White Delights are void of egg yolks.  Yes, eating eggs without yolks is fewer calories and nearly void of any saturated fat or cholesterol.  And yes, if you’re going to eat McDonald’s breakfast anyway, opting for egg whites is probably a better choice.  But the eggs themselves come from highly processed, caged hens.  Then, before they get to your sandwich, they’re microwaved and doused in non-stick spray made liquid margarine (a mix of several hydrogenated oils).  Alas, while the egg white on the Egg White Delight pretty bad for you, it’s probably the healthiest part of the entire sandwich.

The meat and cheese on the Egg White Delight make the seemingly healthy egg white guilty by association.  The cheese acts as the treated, colored and processed salty glue that holds everything together.  Cheese that’s pure and fresh isn’t hardly healthy, let alone this crap.  The meat, similarly, is a hardly meat.  Chemically enhanced with phosphates, nitrates and other preservatives, the Canadian bacon struggles to serve any nutritional purpose.  Put the “meat” and “cheese” together and you get a tref, colorful, salty middle layer.  And that’s just what’s in-between the English muffins!

The English muffins, seemingly the most innocent part, include a secret weapon.  No, not gluten or enriched bleached flour, even though they’re in there and are a formidable contributor to American obesity. McDonalds’ English muffins are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup.  Why?  McDonalds injects HFCS into its muffs to make them sweet and, more importantly, addicting.  Yes, HFCS is addicting and causes obesity and general laziness.  Most normal, store-bought muffins, however, have no HFCS.

Conclusion: McDonald’s is still McDonald’s, not NOYOKE

So to answer the question I get all the time, I don’t care that McDonald’s uses “All yolks aside” in their ads for the Egg White Delight.  It’s not a threat to me or my brand.  It cannot compete with the quick and easy scrambled egg whites with kaleapple cinnamon quinoa, or any other breakfast you can make in five minutes.  Healthy breakfasts never include chemical-laden egg whites, highly processed meats or cheese, or HFCS-enhanced English muffins.  That stuff is NOT good for you.  And that’s noyoke.

The Problem with Gluten Free

Eating gluten-free will help you lose weight.  It will help you find more energy.  And it will help you wane crappy Western illnesses.

So avoiding food with gluten, like bread, is a good thing.  White or wheat.

But avoiding food with gluten does not mean seek out gluten-free products.

Gluten-free products are just that.  Products.

A giant bag of gluten-free pasta is technically gluten-free.  If you’re a marketer, why not put a gluten-free sticker on it?  It will sell better than one without.

But, will a giant bag of gluten-free pasta help you lose weight, find more energy or wane crappy Western illnesses?  Not so much.

Weird Peanut Butter

There are two kinds of peanut butter out there.  Take your pick.  No, not creamy vs chunky.  Not Skippy vs Jif.  It’s simply good vs bad.  Or as my dad likes to call it, weird peanut butter vs normal peanut butter.

Normal peanut butter, like Skippy or Jif, has a long shelf life.  It lasts because of oil hydrogenation, a process very simply illustrated here.  Hydrogenated oils cause:

  • Increase LDL (bad cholesterol)
  • Decrease HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Increase risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer

Weird peanut butter, like Trader Joe’s brand, has a short shelf life.  It requires refrigeration.  It’s ingredients are singular: Peanuts.  And sometimes salt.  But never hydrogenated oils.

So that’s why I like weird peanut butter.

Is that so weird?

Hello, Irene

Big drug dealers have a simple strategy.  Sell a highly addictive, high-margin, readily available product in mass to low-income neighborhoods.  Example: Frank Lucas, heroin, and Harlem, NY. He claimed to earn $1 million dollars per day.

Big Food has a simple strategy, too.  Sell a highly addictive, high-margin, readily available product in mass to low-income neighborhoods.  Example: Irene Rosenfeld of Mondelēz (formally Kraft Foods), Oreo Cookies, and Mobile, Alabama.  She makes $28 million dollars per year.

That we perceive the former at any differently than the latter makes me want to do drugs.

Good thing there’s a 7-11 across the street.

Papa John Peyton

Professional athletes are part-time athletes.  Their other job is to be paid endorsers.  Clothing, pain relievers, and food.

Since professional athletes are rational, they will accept money to endorse products that increase their net worth.  Even if it means endorsing products that are detrimental to society.

But if there is a stigma about endorsing products that are detrimental to society, perhaps the more prudent financial decision will be to endorse products that are more beneficial to society.

Looks like one stigma, professional athletes endorsing junk food, may be ready to drive social change.  Or at the very least, make endorsing junk food a poor financial decision for professional athletes.

Reputation is precious.  Threatening it, and the ability for a rich athlete to get more rich, is powerful.

I cannot wait to see Lebron dropping McDonalds.  Peyton dropping Papa Johns.  Serena dropping Gatorade.

And for the record, this grassroots-awareness-resulting-in-stigma-for-celebtrity-endorsers thing transcends junk food.  How can we use it more?