Saturday, November 3, 2007

Don't mention the P-word

When was it decided that prunes were no longer called prunes? Did I miss the memo?

I saw a commercial yesterday for California Dried Plums. There was nothing particularly special about the spot. In fact it was exceptionally ordinary. But one line of copy caught my ear, “California dried plums, what we used to call prunes.”

A quick search reveals what we might suspect: this was the result of careful market research to find a name that didn’t conjure images of elderly people sipping murky brown prune juice to alleviate constipation. Thanks to this clever rebranding we can now imagine young people sipping murky brown dried plum juice to alleviate constipation.

I suspect this same marketing team may have been the masterminds behind changing the name of Sugar Pops to Corn Pops, which is clearly a healthier cereal. (But it doesn’t explain its latest line extension – Chocolate Peanut Butter Pops. Seriously.)

And while I’m thinking about it, whatever happened to Mr. Salty Pretzels?

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