Of precut price points and produce pitchmen - The Packer

Of precut price points and produce pitchmen

06/06/2014 10:29:00 AM
Fred Wilkinson

Again, it’s reasonable advice, especially for those truly in need of stretching their food dollar — hey, most of us have been there at some point.

Still, few entities — often least of all bureaucrats or consumer advocates — are as adept at accurately surveying the lay of the land of consumers’ psyche as marketers.

Given the continuing rollout of fresh-cut products and convenience packaging and their enduring presence in the produce aisle, it suggests paying a little upcharge for convenience is an equitable trade for millions of shoppers.

Produce needs pitchmen

Produce endorsements are in need of a celebrity makeover.

No, not Oprah or Ellen putting mascara on a melon. I’m talking enlisting a marquee name show biz icon as a pitchman (or woman).

Sure, potatoes had Denise Austin and for a time Dawn Wells, until a traffic stop found the former Mary Ann from “Gilligan’s Island” in possession of some marijuana.

And let’s not forget Barbara Eden from “I Dream of Jeannie” making an appearance at Idaho potatoes’ booth at PMA’s Fresh Summit a few years ago. Sadly, Jeannie’s bad sister with the brunette hair couldn’t make it.

But it’s time for a fresh direction, with a celebrity who boasts enduring popularity and can appeal to a younger (or at least youngish) demographic.

My suggestion: Kevin Bacon.

He looks almost as young now as he did in his “Footloose” days 30 years ago, fit and young at 50-something. He could put a good face on the health benefits of eating fresh produce.

How about the industry pools some promotional dollars and hires Kevin to star in a series of cooking videos using a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to air across the ‘Net?

Working title? “Kevin Bakin.’”


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