Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pie: Made From Scratch?

Although Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie claims to be prepared from scratch, a closer look at its ingredients tells a different story!I grew up eating frozen Chicken Pot Pie. As a child of a working mom in the 70’s and 80’s, Swanson Chicken Pot Pies were one of her go-to solutions for getting a meal on the table after a long day of work.

While I’m not exactly sure what was in those Swanson Chicken Pot Pies, my jaw dropped when I saw a recent advertisement by Marie Callender.

Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pie TV Commercial

Here’s a full script of Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pie advertisement:

Marie believes that her chicken pot pie gives you the perfect recipe for catching up with family. So she takes the time to prepare a golden flaky crust made from scratch and mixes crisp vegetables with all white meat and bakes it to perfection. Because Marie Callender knows that making the perfect dinner isn’t as easy as pie, but finding someone to enjoy it sure is. Marie Callender’s—It’s time to savor! And now there’s even more to savor with family sized pot pies.

 

What so wrong with this ad?

The line that really gets under my skin is:

“So she takes the time to prepare golden flaky crust made from scratch.” (more…)

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Quaker Breakfast Flats … A Healthy Breakfast or a Breakfast Cookie?

Breakfast can be one of the hardest meals of the day, especially if you’re not a morning person. Yes, that “not a morning person” comment needs a big arrow pointing at me. 🙂 So marketing healthy, convenient breakfast foods is literally a goldmine for food companies. But are most of these products really healthy? Let’s take a closer look at one of the newest “healthy” breakfast products on the block—Quaker Breakfast Flats.

Quaker Breakfast Flats market themselves as wholesome and full of real ingredients. But are they healthy, or really a cookie in disguise?

 

Honestly, these are one of those products I want to love. They’re available in three varieties (Cranberry Almond, Banana Honey Nut, and Golden Raisin Cinnamon), and they sound delicious and healthy. (more…)

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Winning at All Costs. The Problem with Taste Tests

Many people think that choosing a taste test winning brand makes a lot of sense. After all, don’t we all want better tasting food? But after learning what it takes to be crowned a winner, you may want to think twice before choosing foods that have “won” a taste test.

Should you choose a taste test winner? Maybe not when you learn what it takes to win.

 

Why are taste tests so popular in the food industry?

It shouldn’t be too surprising that taste tests are used by food companies. Obviously, taste plays a powerful role in what brands people choose. Food companies, however, conduct taste tastes for a variety of different reasons: (more…)

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Healthy Brownies: Fact or Food Company Fiction?

Are healthy brownies possible? Food companies want you to think so!

Are brownies healthy? Processed food companies would love for you to think so, but you know better, right?

Unfortunately there are plenty of people who are falling victim to Big Food’s “healthy dessert” scam. Let’s make sure you and your friends aren’t one of them.

How Does the Healthy Brownies Scam Work?

Brownies taste great, and we really like to treat ourselves. So what do food companies do? They tempt us into eating brownies and other treats by giving us permission. (more…)

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Why I Quit Eating Processed Foods

It’s hard to believe, but about five years ago I officially “broke-up” with processed foods. Yes, I had left General Mills two years earlier, but I consider the break-up official when I purchased my first summer share at a local, organic farm in 2010.

Learn about a former processed food executive and the honest, fact-based reasons why he quit eating processed foods and made the switch to real food!

The break-up was a long time coming. After leading General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios (the cereal category’s #1 selling brand) and Hamburger Helper businesses, I had grown increasingly weary and wary of the processed food industry. (more…)

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Eating Vegetables: The One Healthy Eating Habit Big Food Never Talks About And Why

Why do food companies ignore real vegetables in their healthy diet advice?What’s the one healthy habit you never hear food companies talk about? It’s the power of vegetables and other plants in our diets. Don’t believe me? To help illustrate this point I took a quick look at advertising spending for the past several years, and do you want to guess what percent of spending supported healthy, minimally processed fruits, vegetables, nuts, or other plants? Less than 0.1%! 1

Think about it. Despite all the weight loss and “healthy food” ads on television, how often do you see one for vegetables? Recently I’ve seen a couple for Bird’s Eye and Green Giant sauced-up vegetables, but in the big scheme of things, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes get the short end of the stick. To make matters worse these days you’re more likely to find companies advertising that their highly processed junk food is as good as if not better than real fruits and vegetables, something that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s just one example of this strategy brought to life by FiberOne’s Oat and Chocolate Chewy Bars:

http://youtu.be/SPrLp-6Nmos

(more…)

Notes:

  1. Fruit juice advertising excluded since research demonstrates fruit juices provide significantly less nutritional benefit than their whole fruit counterparts.

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The Top 17 Health Claims Big Food Uses To Keep You Buying More and More

Learn former insider Bruce Bradley's Top 17 Health Scams Big Food Uses To Keep You Buying More and MoreIt’s Weight Loss Season (again)! If you’ve watched any TV the past couple weeks you’ve seen it happen before your eyes! The ads for diet plans and diet aids are streaming before us. And after months of pushing indulgence the food industry is now promoting health … or at least its version of health.

As a former food marketer who’s run countless processed food businesses in many categories, I understand how the food industry works. And this isn’t the first time I’ve written about Big Food’s paradoxical concern over weight loss. From the insanity of a “weight loss season” wedged between the holidays and the Super Bowl, to the deception of weight loss carpetbagging brands like Kellogg’s Special K, the food industry’s insincere attempts to make us healthier only accomplish one goal … making them boatloads of profits!

But after watching too many misleading ads to count and walking through several traditional grocery stores this week, I decided to share the latest ways the food industry is trying to scam us. So here’s my list of the TOP 17 ways you may be tricked with health claims: (more…)

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Weight Loss Carpetbaggers

Weight Loss Can Be Challenging

Well they’re doing it again. When the New Year rolls around, Big Food companies start peddling their insane weight loss programs filled with leanwashed, “healthy” food options. It’s pretty ironic if you think about it–the very same processed food companies that mislead us into eating more and more empty calories then turn around and sell us even more processed foods that pretend to help us lose weight. Much like the carpetbaggers who went South for political and financial gain after the Civil War, these weight loss carpetbaggers don’t really solve any problems. They just profit from them. (more…)

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Another Big Food Head Fake

Food marketers like to portray their products as pure and simple when they really aren't

Last month Californians lost their fight to label GMOs with the defeat of Prop. 37. Thanks in large part to Big Food and Ag companies spending over $46 million on misleading and blatantly false advertising, consumers will remain in the dark about what’s really in their food.

But false and misleading advertising is nothing new to the food biz. As consumers have become more and more interested in simple, real foods, Big Food companies have become even more aggressive in refashioning their highly processed (hush, GMO-ridden) products into pure and pristine gems picked straight from nature’s fields. Nowhere is this advertising trend more evident than in the $10 billion U.S. cereal category where leaders Kellogg’s and General Mills are going head to head to claim the new high ground in food, simplicity. Let’s take a look at both of their advertisements: (more…)

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Gerber: A Broken Promise?

Several days ago Seth Godin’s blog caught my attention. He had a post about marketing and promises that said:

Marketing is about making promises and then keeping them. The marketer comes to us and makes a promise. If we accept the promise, a sale is made.

If we seduce ourselves into accepting small promises, we let everyone down…

The big promises of transparency and care, of design and passion, of commitment and stewardship–we ought to be demanding more of this.

We get what we settle for.

After spending the past couple weeks working on my series, Baby’s First Encounter with Big Food, I couldn’t agree more. Why? Because I believe Big Food has broken some sacred promises. While they may make and keep some smaller promises, they’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. And although many companies are guilty of this in the baby aisle, one company in particular stands out–Nestlé, the owner of the Gerber baby brand. (more…)

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Pinkwashed

Fundraising is a tough business. How many times have you screened or hung-up on a telemarketer? Thrown away the mailer requesting a donation? Or deleted the email from your favorite non-profit? And do you ever feel like when you finally make that donation, you're quickly "thanked" by a barrage of…

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Are All Marketers Liars?

In his 2005 bestseller Seth Godin proclaimed All Marketers Are Liars. It didn't take long for Mr. Godin to admit that he was lying: I wasn't being completely truthful with you when I named this book. Marketers aren't liars. They are just storytellers... At the time Mr. Godin's book was released,…

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In Bruce Bradley's Ultimate Clean Eating Guide this former processed food marketing executive shares why he quit processed foods, how he did it, and outlines tips and steps you can take to lead a happier, healthier life!

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End the confusion! Learn what’s really in your food and how to take simple steps toward eating healthier!