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New Coke, Colgate Lasagna, and 14 Other Food Products That Failed Miserably

New Coke, Colgate Lasagna, and 14 Other Food Products That Failed Miserably

When we go to the supermarket, we have certain expectations of the products that we’ll see there. For example, ketchup will be red, not purple. Jell-O will not be celery-flavored. Life Savers will be little round candies, not soda. When these expectations are turned on their heads, not only is there a bit of cognitive dissonance, it’s just bizarre. And it’s not until the shock wears off that we actually ask ourselves, "Why would anyone possibly want to buy this?" We've tracked down 16 times when new product launches failed miserably.

New Coke, Colgate Lasagna, and 14 Other Food Products That Failed Miserably (Slideshow)

Brand extensions, or when a company rolls out a new product that’s still connected to their core brand, are a mainstay of the food product industry. Most are well-thought-out, field tested, and happen to make a lot of sense: Oscar Mayer’s known for its lunch meat, so why not buy little rounds of their turkey, with cheese, crackers, a drink, and dessert, all packaged up in a tidy box? Lunchables were a hit when they were rolled out in 1988 for that very reason: it made sense, and parents trusted that the brand would be able to provide a decent, complete lunch for their kid. However, while the brand extensions we’ll be taking a look at today might have made sense to some exhausted brand development executive somewhere, they certainly weren't hits with the general public.

For some expertise on why food products fail, we reached out to Christopher Cornyn, the former president of DINE, an agency called upon by major brands when they’re looking to roll out new products.

“Creating a new food product is complex,” Cornyn told us. “Today, you must satisfy up to five consumer need states. You have to take into consideration a consumer’s functional, nutritional, emotional, social, and cultural needs. Ten years ago, you only had to satisfy one or two and you had a hit. Now inventing a new food product requires a holistic approach that addresses all of these.”

While it might appear as if a food product’s failure or success hinges simply on whether it tastes good or not, that’s actually just the tip of the iceberg.

“The number one reason why food products fail is that companies don’t focus on the strategy of positioning and packaging,” Cornyn added. “Just because a food product tastes great doesn't mean you will have a runaway success. Simply put, the package is the product. Packaging does all the work. A food package protects, preserves, transports, gets attention, communicates, builds image, facilitates, instructs, educates, reminds, and should also have a secondary life. This is lost on many new product introductions.”

If all of this sounds incredibly complex and psychological, that’s because it is. While a vast amount of thought and resources go into every single food product that’s released, there’s no way to predict whether it will do well or not, for one reason:

“Food products fail because it is impossible to anticipate consumers’ needs, wants and desires,” Cornyn said. “Humans are complex.”

Most of these failed products were trying to capitalize on a trend. There was a time when people made salads (with actual vegetables) that were firmly encased in Jell-O. So why not sell celery-flavored Jell-O? Back in the early '00s, when everything was taken to the "EXXXXTREME," the folks at Heinz thought that it would be super-extreme to roll out a line of ketchups in "extreme" colors like green and purple. And during the free-spirited '70s, when people were living the single-and-ready-to-mingle life, Gerber assumed that they’d be just as willing to eat what looked like baby food out of a little glass jar.

While the board room honchos and field testers might think that an idea is a good one (although we can’t imagine that anyone actually believed that that last product, called Gerber Singles, would be a hit), there’s really no way to know if a product will sell until it hits the shelves. Some of these brand extensions, like Lunchables, are still with us today, and others, like Lunchables’ "Maxed Out," which was targeted toward adults and contained 40 percent more food, fell off the shelves almost immediately.

Thankfully, most of the products that ended up in the trash heap and remain an embarrassing stain on the reputation of the brands that produced them are gone but not forgotten. And hopefully they never will be forgotten, because some of these are damn hilarious.


Brand extensions that failed

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1957 — Ford Edsel

Bill Gates cites the Edsel flop as his favorite case study. Even t he name "Edsel" is synonymous with "marketing failure." Ford invested $400 million into the car, which it introduced in 1957. But Americans literally weren't buying it, because they wanted "smaller, more economic vehicles," according to Associated Content:

"Other pundits have blamed its failure on Ford Motors execs never really defining the model's niche in the car market. The pricing and market aim of most Edsel models was somewhere between the highest-end Ford and the lowest-end Mercury."

It was taken off the market in 1960.


4 Disneyland For Europeans

As unbeatable as a company like Disney may seem, it will make you happy to know that even a global mass-media conglomerate that controls roughly 108 percent of your favorite franchises occasionally manages to set its blaster on rapid fire and shoot itself in the dick. Or maybe that makes you sad. I don't know your story I don't want to make assumptions.

By the 1980s, Disney World and Disneyland had cemented their reputation as America's favorite locations to projectile vomit overpriced cotton candy on a dude in a Pluto costume. The next logical step was to take the show on the road and let Mickey loose across the pond. They did everything right: years of planning, a prime site near Paris, all the things you'd expect from experienced professionals.

Euro Disney Resort opened in 1992, to the kind of fanfare usually reserved for winning the World Cup. The rides were great. The shows were great. The experience was powered by the same barely concealed abject horror that made its American counterparts such smash hits. Nothing whatsoever could go wrong.

Yes, I'm aware that Euro Disney is still around (since renamed Disneyland Paris, because someone in the company finally noticed the old name is basically the local equivalent of "Dollar Disney"). However, it's one of the most inexplicable money pits for the entire company: It has been bleeding cash from all orifices for over 22 years, with no sign of stopping.

The problems started immediately. The park would have been bankrupt within two years of opening if a wealthy Saudi family hadn't bought a good chunk of it in 1994. Then in 2012, Disney had to throw it a $1.7 billion bailout. That still wasn't enough, and last year they gave it another $1.25 billion. Despite all these insane monetary injections, the resort is notoriously balls deep in debt ($2.2 billion, if you're curious), yet somehow continues to shamble on.

Lots of possible explanations have been given for the struggle of the resort: insane operating costs, overly optimistic revenue estimations, problems with personnel . even the "curmudgeonly French intellectuals talking shit about the place" card was played at one point (to be fair, they totally were, but few multi-billion-dollar enterprises have been toppled by cranky old philosopher types muttering into their cappuccinos). Still, seeing as the place does attract visitors and by all reason should be the kind of money factory its Stateside sibling resorts are, it's kind of just an open fissure on the asshole of Disney.

Related: We Ran Out of Mummies Because Europeans Ate Them


A disingenuous campaign against U.S. colas - Editorials & Commentary - International Herald Tribune

LONDON — What's remarkable about the controversy surrounding Coca-Cola and Pepsi in India - where an environmental group has alleged that the soft drinks contain unacceptably high levels of pesticides and other "toxic substances" - is that both companies, which vigorously deny the charges, claim to be stunned by being targeted.

A plucky pressure group battling a giant multinational accused of selling substandard products in a developing country is hardly a new phenomenon. And this is not the first time either company has faced rough waters in India.

Public-relations experts now say the two companies failed to realize the significance of such a campaign. The companies said their products meet global standards, but the Center for Science and Environment in New Delhi is known for producing well-researched reports.

Coca-Cola's defense is complicated by two of its recent problems: In 1999, Coca-Cola was temporarily banned in Belgium and France, after the two governments remained unsatisfied by the company's explanation about the presence of benzene in the products. Similarly, in 2004 it had to withdraw its bottled water, Dasani, from Britain, after its purification process resulted in levels of bromate beyond British standards, although there were no immediate safety fears.

The Center for Science and Environment, or CSE, has a broader agenda of campaigning against pollution and pesticides. Building on a study it did three years ago, the CSE has gone several steps further this time, analyzing bottles from different plants in different parts of India, subjecting them to apparently identical tests, and concluding that the drinks are too dangerous to consume.

(To be sure, while the chemicals identified are indeed toxic, a consumer would have to drink a huge amount of Coke or Pepsi daily before she faced any risk to her health, even at current levels, and even thirsty teenagers don't drink more than a liter a day. And it has not been established that the chemicals are introduced as a results of the manufacturing process).

Politicians have raced to denounce the companies several states have now banned the drinks from government departments, offices and schools. There have been loud and spirited debates on Indian television, and a poll on a local channel on Wednesday showed that nearly 75 percent of respondents felt the government was favoring the multinationals. An Indian court has asked the companies to reveal the ingredients of the drinks.

Coca-Cola, surely, should know better. In 1977, India's first non-Congress Party government appointed as minister for industries a firebrand trade-union leader, who declared war on multinationals. Using a law already on the books but never seriously used, he asked Coca-Cola and IBM to dilute their equity in their Indian operations to 40 percent, or leave. Coca- Cola was also asked to reveal its secret formula. Both companies chose to leave.

Then, in a bizarre indication of its priorities, the government spent millions of rupees developing a home-grown cola to replace Coke. That state-led effort, called 77, failed miserably the Parle group, a private Indian company, swept the market with a drink called Thums Up.

Undeterred by Coca-Cola's withdrawal, Pepsi ventured into India in the mid-1980s. It agreed to fairly onerous conditions imposed by the government, including forming a joint venture with a state-run company, promising to export five times what it would import, and investing in India's agricultural sector.

In 1993, Coca-Cola returned after India liberalized its economy, permitting foreign ownership in most businesses. It soon acquired Thums Up, and today commands a large share of the India's $1.5 billion soft-drink market. Once Pepsi's share is added, the dominance of U.S. companies is almost total.

Some Indian politicians don't like that, seeing the return of the East India Company in every foreign investment proposal that they consider to be frivolous. During the 1990s, the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party campaigned with the slogan, "We want computer chips, not potato chips," a dig at Pepsi, which had introduced several snack-food brands in India.

Given this backdrop, if Coca-Cola and Pepsi thought they were selling only soft drinks in India, they were mistaken: Their products carry myriad political and cultural meanings. To many Indians, they personify aspirations to an American lifestyle, but to many others, they represent the overbearing reach of U.S. foreign policy. Which is why, even as their sales figures increase around the world, they remain targets of antiglobalization activists, as is now happening in India.

What the CSE campaign is dishonestly silent about, however, is the fact that the Indian food chain is intertwined with pesticides, which can be found in everything from cereals, fruit, vegetables and crops to water and milk. Indian farmers liberally sprinkle pesticides on everything they grow.

Other Indian antiglobalization activists, like Vandana Shiva, have gone further than the CSE. Shiva takes issue with the four-decade-old "green revolution" itself, for introducing chemicals, mechanization, fertilizers, pesticides and other technological solutions to multiply food production in India. While the green revolution enabled India to grow significantly more food, Shiva contends that it has hurt Indian farming - and even impoverished farmers - by reducing crop diversity.

The CSE's deeper agenda, to force the government to standardize and regulate pesticide usage, is laudable. But its campaign against the colas is disingenuous. To insinuate that soft drinks, which account for a tiny portion of India's economy, are a primary cause of spreading pesticides in the Indian food chain, without looking at the far greater contamination in other food products, is plain wrong. It might even suggest that campaigners are only concerned about the health of the middle class, ignoring the millions who earn less than a dollar a day, and make their own dal and rice.

In fact, some experts argue that soft drinks are, on balance, safer than tap water in India, which is home to many water-borne diseases. A survey by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research found that 60 percent of Indian food samples had high pesticide content and 14 percent had unacceptably high levels.

The real culprit, then, is the Indian state, which has dragged its feet in publishing food safety standards that can apply to soft drinks. Instead of focusing on that, politicians are busy scoring points by banning the drinks. That's hypocritical and silly, and does nothing to make food safe in India.


The History of the Beverage Industry (Part 4): How Bottled Water Changed the Industry

Fred Sipper outside Irving’s Food Center and on the TV Guide cover

What about Bottled Water?

Unlike sports drinks, bottled water has a much longer history. Even though we humans started transporting water in vessels since the dawn of the first civilizations, bottling of it started much later in the early 17 th century. The craze for bottled water in the United States started much later, though, in the 1970s.

In 1621, the first bottling of water began at the Holy Well in the United Kingdom. It was a humble beginning in one bottling plant. That doesn’t exist anymore, but the Malvern water from the springs in this area is still bottled to this day.

The practice started in the UK, then spread across Europe and subsequently to North America during the 1700s. The method gained in popularity as natural springs are believed to have many healing properties. Even though it was popular, bottled water only started being commercially distributed in 1767 by Jackson’s Spa in Boston. All the while, bottled water was mostly created and sold as a medicinal remedy by pharmacists.

In the 1800s, technological innovations allowed for some improvements to the practice. These mostly consisted of cheaper glass bottles and significantly faster bottling. Thanks to this, bottled water grew in popularity even more.

The popularity of bottled water in the 20 th Century somewhat declined, especially in the US. This was mostly due to the invention of water chlorination, which reduced the dangers of drinking water available from the public supply. However, bottled water still persisted in Europe, and in the 1970s, became popular again.

Perrier

In the mid to late 1970s Perrier managed to position itself as the ‘Earth’s First Soft Drink’, thanks to Bruce Nevens and James Stevens, the first US CEO and VP Marketing respectively (and later the inventors of Chipwich Ice Cream Sandwiches). Perrier started bottled water’s commercial dominance. Perrier is now known throughout the world for its high level of carbonation and especially for its distinctive green bottle. It’s now owned by Nestlé.

But back in the day, a retailer named Fred Sipper, whom Smithsonian Magazine once called the “King of Bottled Water”, started selling Perrier in his small grocery store in New York City in 1960 called Irving’s Food Center. At the time, though what was to become a revolutionary idea, started out as a ploy to attract more consumers to his supermarket. Irving’s Food Center had a lot of European customers, especially French clientele, and his tactic worked.

Fred first purchased cases at a time. Then he started running full page advertisements in The New York Times to promote Perrier and Irving’s Food Center. He began purchasing and selling pallets of Perrier and then overseas containers from France. Unfortunately, the grocery store was too small to handle that type of volume and he opened a warehouse and a new wholesale distribution company called Mootch and Muck, affectionately named after his parents’ nicknames for one another.

Irving’s Food Center NY Times Ad

Bruce Nevens and Jim Stevens were great marketers, constantly looking to cater to the upscale NYC clubs, restaurants, and hotels, etc.

Bruce Nevens and Jim Stevens, Perrier

The business grew and Fred added other bottled water brands including Evian, San Pellegrino, Poland Spring, Mountain Valley, Aqua Panna, Contrexevelle, Badoit, Apollinaris, Gerolsteiner, Ferrarelle (to be re-launched in the United States by Evian in 2020) and many more. He eventually convinced the major and many minor retailers, as well as the trendy restaurants and clubs to sell the first bottled waters in New York and New Jersey.

Perrier, Evian, Pellegrino

Fred opened his first warehouse to distribute bottled water in the mid 1970s. The first warehouse was 1000 square feet and housed mostly Perrier. The second warehouse opened in 1982 and was 35,000 square feet the next a 60,000 square foot warehouse on Grand Avenue, and then 100,000 square feet in 1985 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

From 1976-1988 Fred was the exclusive Evian distributor for the NY ADI. Mootch and Much was also the first Vitamin Water distributor and shared the exclusive distribution rights to San Pellegrino with a food service distributor.

In came Jack Maguire, a savvy former Vice President of Canada Dry, and the first CEO of Evian USA, then called Great Waters of France. Jack was a great marketer and teamed up with Fred to create the largest bottled water empire in the USA for many years. In fact, Fred and Jack participated and sponsored the NYC Marathon and catered at first to runners. Both would run in Central Park at mid-day together to train for the event in pink Evian shirts and sweats, and of course always with a bottle of glass Evian, there was no plastic at that time in their hands.

Jack Maguire, CEO Evian and Fred Sipper, CEO Mootch and Muck

Fred developed the first bottled water program where he would visit the swankiest upscale restaurants, hotels, and clubs in Manhattan. His first questions was, “how much money do you make on the free bread you give out? What about the free tap water you serve with ice that you pay for?” They soon began to realize that a bottle of Evian at the table could add 15% to their checks. Fred would also interview the wait staff and initiate his Evian Waiter Program which consisted of training the waiter to convince their customers to buy Evian so that their tips would increase by at least $1.00 per client, if their customer only bought one bottle.

He made an arrangement to meet with all the waiters and outlined his program: 1) When the customer sat down, there would be a bottle of Evian on every table. 2) No glasses of tap water were visible. 3) and if they convinced the client to buy the Evian their tips went up. Since the average waiter would wait on more than 30 tables per night, he or she would earn an extra $30 per night.

He also advised them about the Evian Mystery who would unknowingly have dinner in their restaurant during a defined period of time. If the waiter even mentioned Evian, the waiter would receive $100 on the spot.

Simultaneously, he convinced chain store buyers to create the first bottled water sections in their stores. He offered a free fill for every inch of space they gave them. And if the product didn’t sell, at the end of the month he promised to purchase any unsold merchandise at full retail price. The result: He never had to buy back any bottles.

Food Emporium’s Buyer at the time, Dan Portnoy,
worked with Fred to launch their Bottled Water Spectacular, a one week bottled water promotion four times per year

Fred and Jack convinced Marvin Taub at Bloomingdales to display Evian in their stores and sample consumers in high end departments like fur and expensive women’s clothing. Taub wanted a 60 day exclusive when the plastic Evian bottle was introduced. The three parties agreed and then Fred pre-sold all of the city’s supermarket chains leveraging the distribution in Bloomingdales.

To this day and since 2000, Fred consults for the second largest online distributor, second only to Amazon, of non alcoholic beverages, Beverageuniverse.com. He still seeks new bottled waters daily to add to the 290+ kinds and sizes Beverage Universe stocks.

But I digress…and it is time to re-focus on the earlier history.

The Origins of Schweppes and Carbonated Bottled Water

One would think that this is all there is to bottled water, but there’s more to it. In 1783, a Geneva man called Johann Jacob Schweppe developed a process for the manufacturing of bottled and carbonated mineral water. He also founded the now-known Schweppes company that started selling his carbonated water.

This changed the game for the bottled water industry. It was the first time people came into contact with soda water, sparkling water, or seltzer water as we know it in the United States.

Even though Schweppes started the bottling of carbonated water, that water itself had been accidentally developed by Joseph Priestley some 16 years earlier. He discovered that it was possible to imbue water with carbon dioxide. He drank his concoction and later wrote about the unusual satisfaction he gained from drinking it.

Later on, in 1809, bottled carbonated water started gaining popularity in the US as well. Joseph Hawkins got a patent for producing imitation mineral water. As the decades passed, bottles of carbonated water were being sold in the millions.

Evian, Badoit, and Volvic

Bottled Water Market and Its Effects

In the 1970’s few people knew about bottled water. However, they started to buy it in droves as negative reports about US water supply surfaced and trendy discos like Studio 54 and restaurants like Elaine’s and clubs like Regines started selling Perrier.

After Perrier took the market by storm, Mootch and Muck added San Pellegrino and Evian to its distribution trucks to build all 3 bottled water brands in the Metro New York area. Poland Spring soon joined along with Calistoga, Arrowhead, Badoit, SPA, and other pioneers.

Mountain Valley, Contrex, Evian Trade Ad, Perrier Trade Ad

More and more consumers switched from Perrier to non-sparkling waters like Evian and their usage occasions increased. Evian was in fact the first bottled water company to introduce their products in plastic bottles. Once this occurred the bottled water industry exploded. Competitors followed suit using plastic bottles. And sales have continued to increase for every year since the late 1970s.

Evian Plastic

Today, centuries after the first bottled water was produced, the entire market is worth around $200 billion and is expected to reach $330 billion by 2023. The enormous growth of the market is being spearheaded by many conglomerates bottling and selling mineral water and carbonated water, thus easing public concerns across the globe about the safety of tap water.

Market Watch

In 2012, the US annual consumption of bottled water reached 9.67 billion gallons (36.6 billion liters) or 30.8 gallons (116.6 liters) per person. As for the world, global consumption reached 300 billion liters or 79.2 billion gallons in 2014.

The consumption of bottled water varies from place to place, and it mostly has to do with how safe tap water is in the area. Bottled water is also used in emergency responses when disaster strikes. However, on the other end of the spectrum, it is critiqued for its negative effect on the environment. The usage of plastic bottles is mainly blamed as plastic has a massively negative impact on the environment. Despite that, most companies still use plastic bottles because it’s much cheaper than glass.

Nestle has become the number one bottled water company in the world. They now own Perrier, San Pellegrino, Poland Springs, Arrowhead, Calistoga, Ozarka, Deer Park, Zephyrhills, Aqua Panna, Vittel and their filtered water brand under the Nestle Pure banner. DANONE now owns Evian, Volvic, Badoit, and more. Coca Cola owns Dasani and Smartwater and Pepsi Cola owns Aqua Fina. Keurig owns CORE.

NY Times Article About Bottled Water Pepsi H2OH Article

Key Takeaways

Bottled water is now consumed across the globe, with its own distinctive history. Bottled water is a major player in the beverage industry, and its scope is still growing exponentially.

The entire beverage industry continues to evolve, and it is worth the while for every aspiring beverage entrepreneur to stay in touch with the industry insights, as well as to turn to historical takes like this one for clearer perspective. By doing that, you will be better-positioned to create a new shakeup in the industry.

Darius Bikoff’s Precursor to Smart Water and Vitamin Water

For more information about Cascadia Managing Brands please visit our website.


Eating in 1994: The Year Beef Came Back

THE news may be startling to Americans who live in pockets of gastronomic enlightenment, but 1994 may be remembered as the year when beef came back, when sweets and snacks in low-fat versions were consumed in record numbers and when the nation looked at vegetables and collectively said, "I say it's spinach and I say the hell with it."

In the history of the country, there have never been so many food choices, or so much information on the relationship between diet and health. But the bulk of the population is eating larger portions than ever of nutrient-poor food and, consequently, obesity and health problems due to diet are rising.

If one were to create a meal from the nation's favorite foods in various categories, it would look surprisingly like a dinner circa 1960, with a few new twists on old favorites: a steak or a burger on a bun, french fries cooked in saturated fat, iceberg lettuce with artificially thickened low-fat dressing, ice cream, a no-fat Snackwell's cookie, and milk or a Coca-Cola.

The preceding cocktail hour might include Doritos, Snackwell's no-fat crackers and a color-injected high-fat cheese. Vegetables would be absent and portions would be about double what they were 30 years ago.

"After years of food market research, I can tell you the only constant is no change," said Harry Balzer, vice president of the NPD Group, a marketing research concern in Park Ridge, Ill., that tracks the eating patterns of 2,000 American households every year. "As a nation we don't start eating new foods we just take the old ones and rearrange them."

The NPD report this year shows that the favorite lunch and dinner entrees of 1994 are the same ones of 1984, just reorganized in order of popularity. The new low-fat foods, Mr. Balzer noted, are the same foods people have always eaten, but in lower-fat versions.

"There are only two ways to really change people's eating habits," Mr. Balzer said. "One is to lower the price, which will have an effect immediately. The other is to make people's lives easier, to make a food more convenient. For 270 million Americans, the single biggest factor driving long-term change is convenience. Iced tea in a can is a good example it eliminates that big step of making it."

Price, rather than health, seems to dictate what goes on the table of many Americans. Although people in the United States spend on average about 13 percent of their annual income on food -- nearly half in restaurants and less than almost any other nation in the world -- a drop in prices can lead to much higher sales.

Beef, which has become cheaper, was at its highest consumption level in five years in 1994. And next year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the country will probably consume almost a pound more than this year's 63.7 pounds a person. Pork consumption is expected to rise as well, to 51.5 pounds a person, 2 pounds more than this year's figure. Sales of fish and shellfish, which continue to rise in price, have leveled off. Chicken, still reasonable, continues to rise in consumption.

At the other end of the scale, both literally and figuratively, sales of low-fat products are rising fast. If the nation has heard any health message at all, it is to cut the fat, any fat. But the low-fat foods that sell are packaged, processed food. There has been no run on vegetables, fruits, grains or beans, all of which are naturally low in fat, nutrient rich and filled with fiber.

Instead, there has been a stampede to buy packaged foods emblazoned with a "no fat" or "low fat" label. This year, Snackwell's, a line of 11 no-fat and low-fat crackers and cookies from Nabisco Foods, became the best-selling brand of cookie and cracker in the country. Introduced 18 months ago, Snackwell's had sales of 400 million.

While there is vast advertising for processed low-fat and nonfat foods, there is little for fresh fruits and vegetables. In 1992, Kellogg's spent $1 million to advertise just one cereal, Sugar Frosted Flakes. In the same year, the National Cancer Institute was given $400,000 for its Five-a-Day program, a campaign to encourage Americans to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Epidemiological studies have repeatedly shown that populations eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day have half the cancer risk of populations eating just two servings a day.

But this year, Americans had an average daily fruit and vegetable intake of about three and a half servings, "which is not good enough for long-term benefits," said Jerianne Heimendinger, director of the Five-a-Day program.

Three and a half servings would be, for example, a banana on breakfast cereal, a salad at lunch and broccoli for dinner. Five servings would be adding another vegetable at dinner and orange juice to breakfast. Overall national consumption of fruit and vegetables for the past five years has risen only very slightly.

"We haven't made nearly as much progress as weɽ hoped," Ms. Heimendinger said. "It's obvious now that we have to rethink our strategy in order to get people to be adventurous, to try foods that some of them have never had before. Somehow we have to convince people to take food seriously, to re-create it as a value, as something worth paying attention to."FatSales of Butter And Oils Are Up

Despite the focus on low-fat foods, Americans are eating more fat. Sales of visible fats like butter, lard, margarine and oils keep rising. Per capita consumption of these fats has risen from 65.6 pounds in 1992 to 68.6 pounds in 1994. Per capita consumption of all fat, including invisible fats like those in meat and dairy products, was 138 pounds this year, according to the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, which represents fat manufacturers.SugarSweet Tooth Gets Bigger

Sugar consumption in the United States is steadily rising and 1994 figures will reflect this, according to studies by the Economic Research Service of the Department of Agriculture.

In the early part of the century, a third of the carbohydrates in the American diet came from simple sugars and the rest came from complex carbohydrates like potatoes and grains. By 1990, half of all carbohydrates consumed came from simple sugars.

In 1991, the last year for which complete figures are available, consumption of sugar and other sweeteners was 164.9 pounds a person. Sweeteners include what the Government calls "caloric sweeteners" -- sucrose, honey, corn sweeteners -- and "high-intensity sweeteners" like saccharin and aspartame.Dairy ProductsLess Milk, More Cream

Per capita consumption of all dairy products in 1993 was 572.2 pounds, up 18 pounds from 1970 and down 29 pounds since 1987. Milk drinking in general is decreasing, and the trend is toward lower-fat milk. But Americans are eating more cream products (8 pounds per capita in 1993) and more cheese. While consumption of cottage cheese is declining, consumption of Cheddar and mozzarella, the country's first- and second-most-popular cheeses, is rising. In 1993 Americans ate 26.3 pounds of cheese per person.VegetablesPotato Is Tops

The list of favorite vegetables has remain unchanged for five years. First is the potato, followed by iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion, carrot, celery, corn, broccoli, green cabbage and cucumber.Beans and WheatA Few More Beans, Not Enough Grain

In 1994, bean consumption was 6.9 pounds a person, an increase of .4 pounds from the previous year. Still, sales of beans, a major source of low-fat protein, are "down from 11 pounds per person during World War II," said Steven Worth, executive director of the National Dry Bean Council, a trade group.

Wheat products, which include flour and items like cereal and pasta, have risen 28 percent in a decade, to 189 pounds per capita in 1993. "That's good but still not good enough," said Judith Jones Putnam, an agricultural economist with the Economic Research Service of the Agriculture Department. "In order to meet dietary guidelines of 6 to 11 servings of grains a day, we should all be eating 100 pounds more wheat products a year."

Ready-to-eat cereal is still the top breakfast choice in America, but consumption of bran and natural cereals has fallen 29 percent in the last decade, while consumption of presweetened cereals for children has risen by 26 percent.The McDonald's FactorFeeding The World

Serving 28 million customers a day, McDonald's has retained its title as the largest single source of food, and of beef, specifically, in the world.

"A new McDonald's opens every eight to nine hours somewhere in the world," said Becky Caruso, a spokeswoman for the company. On Dec. 14, a McDonald's opened in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Mecca Macs are made of beef, "but the beef is halal, slaughtered according to Islamic law," Ms. Caruso said.Favorite MealsLess Bologna, More Turkey

The NPD Group, a market research concern in Park Ridge, Ill., has surveyed the eating habits of 2,000 American households for the last 15 years. In the last decade, the top meal choices have remained very stable. Only the bologna sandwich has dropped off the list, replaced by the turkey sandwich.

In 1984 the top 10 choices, in order of preference, were ham sandwich, steak, hot dog, cheese sandwich, peanut butter and jelly, hamburger pattie without a bun, bologna sandwich, pizza, spaghetti, and macaroni and cheese. In 1994, the list was, in order, pizza, ham sandwich, hot dog, peanut butter and jelly, steak, macaroni and cheese, turkey sandwich, cheese sandwich, hamburger on a bun and spaghetti.MeatBeef Outranks Pork and Chicken

In 1994, Americans ate 63.7 pounds of beef per person, 49.5 pounds of pork, 48.2 pounds of chicken, 14.9 pounds of fish and shellfish, 14.3 pounds of turkey, .9 pounds of lamb and .8 pounds of veal, according to the Department of Agriculture.Organic and Kosher FoodsRapid Increases In Sales

Sales of organic foods are increasing rapidly, from $812 million in 1988 to $2 billion in 1993. Final sales figures for 1994 are expected to top $2.5 billion.

Kosher food sales are now at $33 billion a year, more than double a decade ago. The kosher food industry estimates that only 25 percent of the kosher-food consumers are Jewish, but says that kosher meat is popular because it is considered cleaner and less likely to carry salmonella or other bacteria.ChocolateNo Match For the Swiss

Chocolate is steady and holding. Of the 22-pound total candy consumption per person this year, 11 pounds was chocolate. This may seem like a lot of late-night bingeing, but Americans are actually chocolate wimps compared with Europeans. In world chocolate consumption, the United States comes in ninth. The Swiss are in first place, at 26 pounds per person per year.

Attempts to make and market low-fat chocolate have failed miserably, according to Larry Graham, a spokesman for the Chocolate Manufacturers of America, a trade group. "Cocoa butter melts slowly at body temperature and that luscious mouth feel is an essential part of the taste of chocolate," said Mr. Graham, who added that a small piece of real chocolate is so satisfying, it acts as a natural deterrent to overindulging.AlcoholIf It's Wine, Make It Red

The percentage of Americans who drink alcoholic beverages has risen to 65 percent this year, up from 56 percent in 1989, which was the lowest percentage in a decade, according to a 1994 Gallup poll. But 41 percent of the respondents said they were drinking less than they did five years ago.

Since 1985, total wine consumption has dropped by almost half, although "more red wine than white is being sold at every price level," said Lewis Perdue of Wine Business Monthly, an industry newsletter. Red wine has continued to rise in sales since 1991, when heart-healthy figures for the French, who regularly consume red wine, were first released.

Classic Coke contines to be the nation's most popular beverage, although what the industry calls "new age drinks," which include juice drinks, iced tea, sports drinks and plain and flavored waters, increased 20 percent in sales this year. Coffee sales have remained the same for the past five years. Tea had a slight surge this year and beer sales were up about a half of one percent.

The average per capita intake of liquid is 182.5 gallons a year, according to John Frank, editor in chief of Beverage Industry Magazine, who said the most popular drinks, in order, are soft drinks, tap water, coffee, beer, milk, bottled water, tea, juice, powdered drinks, wine and distilled spirits.New ProductsPrecut Salads And Salsas

New Product News, a newsletter published in Chicago, tracks additions to the market. In 1994, there were 15,000 new food products, up from 12,897 the year before. But certain categories had the most new products, as well as the best sales. The 10 most active areas for new products were precut salads sold in sealed plastic bags, salsas, fat-free cookies and crackers, vegetarian frozen meals, fruit-based drinks mixed with water or seltzer, ice beers, low-fat dips and low-fat sour cream, flavored cocoas, baked goods like focaccia and biscotti, and bread mixes for bread machines.Takeout FoodA Large Pizza To Go

The nation's most popular takeout food is pizza. "New Yorkers never get this right," noted Harry Balzer of the NPL Group. "They always guess Chinese food."Not Just a SnackAny Chip In a Storm

Tip for travelers: one food industry analyst who drives frequently throughout the Midwest in winter said he always keeps a bag of potato chips in his glove compartment. "When the windshield ices up, I cover it with smashed chips," he said. "The salt content of those chips melts ice faster than a blast of heat."Restaurant BoomA Slump Is Over

After a five-year recession, restaurants are booming, according to Jeffrey Prince, a spokesman for the National Restaurant Association. This year, the industry had $276 billion in sales, up from $255 billion in 1992. Next year, the projection is $289.6 billion in sales.

Restaurants take a growing portion of the money spent on food. In 1993, 13.2 percent of American annual income was spent on food. Of that, 6 percent was spent on food eaten in restaurants. Numbers for 1994 are expected to be similar.

"There is much more flexibility in restaurants today," Mr. Prince said. "They're more casual, they offer more options, larger portions and, at every level, they're giving customers more for their money."

Recently released figures from the Zagat Survey restaurant guides suggest that restaurant prices have dropped in many places, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington and New York City, where respondents said their meals were 13 percent cheaper than they were three years ago.


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How to Cut a Sound Trail thru the Amazon Thicket

As published in Beverage Business Insights May 11, 2020.

There’s little question that online sales’ continuing inroads in the bev biz have become accelerated as conventional shopping has become more tortuous during the coronavirus pandemic. Data shared on Monster Bev earnings call last week showed that rival Celsius may be still modest at retail but it owns 10% category share on Amazon. BellRing Brands’ ceo said ecomm has jumped to 10% share of sales and may stay that way even post-pandemic. Those are eye-popping stats. Should your early-stage brand make the leap? Does the chaos of the current crisis make this a good time or a bad time do so? Bill Sipper, partner at Cascadia Managing Brands in Ramsey, NJ (CascadiaFoodBev.com), offers a primer here on what factors should go into your decision-making and how to plot your strategy.

“Our vision is to be the earth’s most consumer-centric company to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they want to buy online.” That’s Amazon’s mission statement. From a consumer perspective, they have achieved their goal. But what is missing from that mission statement? You, the vendor.

As much as Amazon cares about making consumers happy is as little as they are concerned about their vendors. Amazon can be daunting for even the most experienced food and beverage executive. (It certainly was a learning curve for those of us at Cascadia Managing Brands.) It is even more difficult for an early-stage entrepreneur with limited understanding of their digital space. And as I noted, Amazon doesn’t necessarily work hard to make it easy and intuitive for you. Having been steeped in these issues for our clients in recent years, I’m offering a few guidelines for navigating this challenging but potential rewarding channel.

A word first about timing. Much has been said about Amazon focusing on “essential items” during this pandemic. Yes, food and beverages typically are considered essential, but your early-stage brand may not be so essential at a time many consumers are more focused on staple items. Does this imply you should put off a launch until things settle down? Not necessarily, because of the time frame involved. It will usually take 8 weeks or more to get items listed on the platform. Amazon people are very meticulous and want information the way they want it. For example, quite often Amazon will ask you to prove that you are the brand owner and require specific, and somewhat odd, documentation to support that. It is not uncommon to receive approval to steps in your account only to have them unapproved the following day, as the company requests additional information. So the sooner one starts this process the faster the products will find a berth on the great ship Amazon.

If you decide the time is right to proceed, you first need to determine which Amazon platform is right for your brand. Amazon is not one unitary service. Rather, it offers 3 options, each with its pros and cons: Amazon Vendor Central, Amazon Seller Central Fulfillment by Merchant, and Amazon Seller Central Fulfillment by Vendor. Which platform do you choose? It all depends on your brand’s needs and your operational strength. You need to think this through because success on Amazon starts by choosing the optimal platform.

Product type and packaging are important here. Take ASC Fulfillment by Merchant, in which the order is placed on Amazon but the product is shipped by you, the seller. This is a much better platform for pills and powders, refrigerated products and glass packages (9 out of 10 times Amazon will not ship glass directly). Then there is ASC Fulfillment by Amazon, where you deliver your product to the Amazon distribution centers on consignment and it is shipped to the buyer by Amazon. This most often is better for shelf-stable and RTD food and bevs. Each of these platforms offers different options and opportunities. For example, Vendor Central allows you to participate in Amazon Pantry, Amazon Fresh and Prime Now, while the other platforms do not. ASC FBA automatically gets you a Prime designation while ASC FBM Prime offers that possibility but not a guarantee. This may all sound like gobbledygook to you now, but these are essential, crucial distinctions.

Your digital shelf on Amazon is completely different than your retail shelf. Although you will find some level of uniformity, realistically there is much more flexibility in digital. For example, in traditional brick & mortar you would most probably want to offer each one of your sku’s, sometimes individually, sometimes in multipacks, and sometimes in cases. However, you are limited to the room a retailer allows you on the shelf. The digital shelf is much different. You can offer any pack you want, whether a 3-pack, 4-pack, 6-pack or 12-pack. Variety packs and packs that meet a consumer subscription cadence are the gold standard on Amazon. So this is a key part of your strategizing for this platform. You need to settle on the right size and the right pack count with the right order cadence, and of course make this all work with your supply chain.

Price is also important – but maybe not as important as you might assume. When Amazon shoppers are polled on what’s most important to them, the top three responses tend to be: (1) free shipping, (2) most likely to have the product I want, and (3) better prices. According to Consumer Research Report by Salsify, 2019 69% of consumer will abandon a product page for lack of information or details, a significantly greater driver than price.

Therefore, the content on your digital page (again, think of it as a shelf) is critical, from the type and number of photos, to the titles, to the bullet points. All these things affect your search ranking. Reviews also help in the search rankings and consumers like to see what other people are saying. Focus on getting quality reviews, not quantity.

Last but not least is promotion and advertising. You don’t have an Amazon business without marketing inside Amazon and out. But don’t spend one penny until your content is right. Amazon offers programs ranging from pay-per-click (PPC) to brand sponsorship, product sponsorship and brand store. These need to be combined with search engine optimization and key words on your pages. Yes, it’s a complex matrix, but again, you won’t have a successful Amazon business without thinking these issues through.

I should note that one of the downsides of Amazon is the lack of overall data you will receive about your consumer. Yes, Amazon captures a great deal of data about its shoppers and their purchasing habits, but it doesn’t share much of it. For vendors using Seller Central, the only consumer data you will be able to see is age, household income, education, gender and marital status. Amazon owns the relationship with the consumer. Vendors would receive a lot more consumer data if they sold their products on their own website. But consider this simple bit of arithmetic: Amazon receives 200 million unique views per month, while the average food and beverage startup’s website will receive no more than 50-100 visitors. So do the math. More often than not, even with a lack of consumer data, the sheer consumer volume on the Amazon platform will offer greater sales. Brands would have to spend a considerable amount of money to secure enough views of their website to come close to Amazon’s sales potential. It is a tradeoff that needs to be considered.

If you have a very large brand and if you have a lot of capital to invest in Google search terms and pay-per-click ads, and you have a large database of social media followers, you might opt to sell your product from both your website and Amazon. That could yield incremental sales and capture your consumers’ data directly. However, if you don’t have a large amount of capital (although you still need some to support your Amazon marketing), then it is best to focus on selling your product on Amazon. If you happen to generate sales from your website, that is great. But I would not invest a lot of time there. It is worth noting in this context that Amazon is the #1 search engine for retail products. More than 70% of online consumers begin their product searches with Amazon, versus just 11% with Google. Think about that.

If you’ve read this far, you understand that Amazon can be very difficult to set up if you don’t know what you are doing. It is not as easy as just throwing some photos and words on a page. Today, many brands launch exclusively on Amazon because the barrier to entry and costs are relatively low compared to the requirements of operating in the bricks-&-mortar world, from recruiting distributors to paying slotting fees to running in-store demos. Amazon sold $8.2 billion of grocery items in the US last year (compared to Walmart’s online business of just $2.4 billion). It can be a great place both for large brands and small ones. But only if you have a plan.


New Coke, Colgate Lasagna, and 14 Other Food Products That Failed Miserably - Recipes

Can’t think of a more convincing Milk Ambassador

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4 Seemingly Healthy Foods With Lurking Dangers

Here’s 4 foods often perceived as healthy foods but lurk with dangers.

1. Strawberries.

Ok don’t yell at me. I know they’re beautiful, juicy and yummy.
What’s there not to love about strawberries?
How can something so delicious be dangerous at all?

They are sprayed with insecticides and being without a skin layer that you can peel off, the strawberries absorb the pesticides sprayed on them.

In a study, there were 13 pesticides found on strawberries!
YIkes!

Sure they are yummy and attractive but there’re layers of pesticides on them!

Do: Organic Strawberries are probably safer. Buy those if your budget allows. But realize organic doesn’t mean it is pesticide free. It just means they use organice pesticides, which may be less dangerous.
Tip: If you want to eat regular strawberries, as a precaution, wash them and brush them gently with a mushroom brush. That may help to remove some of the pesticides on the surface. But it still doesn’t help remove the pesticides that have been absorbed.

2. Sprouts & Alfalfa

They need moist, warm environments to grow which provides the perfect condition for bacteria and germs to grow.
Added to the danger, is that manure is often used in growing sprouts and alfalfa.
Sprouts are considered one of the foods most likely to harbor pathogens like E. coli and salmonella.
These bacteria will make you very sick. If it’s a severe strain, may even cause organ damage or be fatal.

Sprouts are most often responsible for food recalls.
They have been responsible for large-scale outbreaks of food poisoning in the past few years.
Retailers have found it difficult to ensure the safety of any given batch of sprouts.

The danger of sprouts are such a health problem that WalMart and Krogers have stopped selling Sprouts and Alfalfa.
Organic sprouts and alfalfa do not improve your chances and are just as likely to be contaminated.

In fact, half the reported contaminated batches were organically grown products.
Pregnant women, elderly, children and those with weak health should never eat sprouts or alfalfa.

Dos: Refrain from eating raw Sprouts or Alfalfa.
Tip: If you want to eat them, try cooking them to kill any bacteria that may be there.

3. Large Fishes – Swordfish, Tuna

Large fishes live longer and accumulate more mercury. Fishes like Tuna, Swordfish tend to have high mercury levels. Tuna caught in the Atlantic contains more mercury than those caught in the Pacific.

Imported Swordfish often fished with unsustainable methods causing great environmental damage and other sea life to be killed in the process. As we know, In trying to catch Tuna, Dolphins often get caught and die as collateral damage. Add to that, the increasing popularity and rising demand for Tuna is now resulting in overfishing of Tuna and the Tuna stock is rapidly being depleted.

Many fish are contaminated with mercury and some are way more than tuna.
The general EPA advice is that pregnant and nursing mothers and small children should avoid Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish. The FDA’s monitoring program run since 1990, indicates the mercury contamination in “fresh / frozen” tuna is around 0.38 mg / kg, 0.35 in canned albacore and 0.12 in canned light tuna. Swordfish comes in at 0.98 mg / kg, Tilefish with 1.45 mg / kg

For an average 160 lbs adult, the safely limit is 90 g / week (3 oz) of fresh/frozen tuna, half a can of albacore tuna, 1 1/2 cans of light tuna per week, 2.5 oz of Swordfish or 1.5 oz of Tilefish per week. This excludes any other fish consumption. So basically this is ALL the fish intake that is safe to eat.

Choose fishes with lower mercury levels. Limit Tuna, Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish,

Dos: Eat fish in moderation. For adults, keep mercury levels below the minimum reference dose of 0.1mg/ kg/day (or 0.045mg/lb/day) of body weight.
This means for an 160 lb/ 73 kg adult, keep it to 7.3mg per day.
Tip: Eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. Four of the most commonly eaten seafood low in mercury are shrimp, salmon, pollock, and catfish.

4. White Chocolate

While cocoa beans contain antioxidants and many other health benefits.
White chocolate doesn’t contain much cocoa and most of it has been heavily processed that there isn’t much antioxidants left.
White chocolate is mostly flavoring, milk and sugar that makes up White Chocolate.

Besides, why pick white chocolate over milk or dark chocolate??
Milk and dark are much tastier!

Do/Tip: Eat chocolate with a higher cocoa level as it has more health benefits.
Dark chocolate has antioxidants and is good for the heart.
Of course, you shouldn’t rely on chocolate alone for these health benefits.

Related articles

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Comfort Food is like Cocaine, Just not Fatal! Eating Healthy is Hard Work!

You see pictures of celebrities who look amazing, they talk about their healthy lifestyle.
You read about their healthy eating habits to find tips and nuggets so you can live healthier.

It’s inspirational to proclaim “OK I’m going to eat and live healthy too!”

For me, it was a way of life of choosing to eat and live healthier.
I’m fully aware i’m not going to look anywhere close to Gwyneth Paltrow even if I succeed at living healthier.
Because she works out a minimum of 2 hours a day. That’s completely not happening for me.

Gwyneth looking amazing in a daring side sheer dress!

For Gwyneth, her healthy eating means no red meat, no diary, no sugar, no white processed carbs.

Do you know HOW DIFFICULT that is when you live in the real world?
(or maybe have issues with self control…)
If you’re attempting to live healthier and finding it close to impossible, know that the rest of us mortals struggle with it too!
You’re not alone. Don’t feel bad because you can’t adhere to your healthy plan.

Celebrities have personal chefs who will conjure up yummy dishes with enough variety to accommodate these dietary limits.
You and I do not have a personal chef to buy the ingredients and whip up yummy meals daily based on such a restrictive diet.

I find the best way to eat healthy, is to prepare and cook fresh food.
That way, I know exactly what goes into the dish.
Every time I try to eat clean or healthy, even if it’s just for a day, I find it challenging and stressful to buy healthy food.
If I’m eating clean or healthy, that means it has to be cooked at that point, not pre-cooked or a frozen vegetarian meal.
That’s filled with chemicals which defeats the purpose.

If you work or look after kids or family with plenty of things to get done throughout the day,
you’ll likely identify with me. We’re pressed for time!

Buying fresh ingredients all the time is time consuming.
Many times, by the time I’m done with the day, the supermarket is closed or
I’m way too tired to haul myself to get fresh food.
After a long day, you still have to cook and wash up. Which easily takes an hour.
And if you have kids or other people you need to take care of, you’ll be even more pressed for time.

Yesterday I was running multiple errands and I didn’t get done till 11pm.
I STILL hadn’t had dinner. I was starving, famished.

The easiest thing to do would have been to open a packet of instant noodles
(which I do enjoy the taste of, probably because of all the chemicals and MSG in there!)
and dump some frozen vegetables into it and call it a meal.

I decided I had to make the effort to eat healthy and put my intention to practice.
Eating healthy takes effort. It takes time. Healthy food doesn’t magically appear!

Chemical ladened instant noodles would not do!
So, I cooked. At 11pm at night.

I abhor eating late at night.
The smart thing to do if you have to eat that late, is to stick to vegetables and proteins and minimize carbs.
I had chicken meat frozen in the freezer, it would have taken too longer to thaw.
I needed to eat NOW.

Next best thing? Pasta. Sigh. Major CARBS!!
So I whipped up Mushroom cream pasta. *gulp*
At least it was vegetarian?

Mushroom Pasta at Midnight!

Totally sinful and not even as delicious as what I would have eaten at a restaurant.
By the time I was done cooking and washing up, it was midnight.
Yes, it took an hour to prep the food (dicing, chopping etc), cook, and wash dishes.

I finally ate at midnight.
If I had a personal chef and a huge kitchen well stocked with food,
I’m sure he could have cooked up healthy grilled chicken or a salad.
Well, I don’t have either.

As the night wore on, I got the urge to snack.
My first instincts was Cheetos =)

I spoke sternly to my comforted-by-junk-food self.
“No junk food! Eat healthy!”
I got an apple and ate that.
Which should have been enough.
Except for many of us, part of the challenge in living healthier is changing our habits and leaving our comfort zone.

For many of us, eating is a comfort zone.
It bizarrely makes us feel safe, comforts us.
It makes us feel we can get through the paper or report we are having difficulty writing and is due tomorrow.
Cheetos, Sour Cream & Onion chips, Ice cream, desserts all make me happy.
If i’m working late into the night, feeling stressed,
opening a bag of cheddar chips inexplicably makes me feel safer, that I can get my work done.

Desserts make me feel better. Always!

Psychologists will tell you it has to do with the reward system wired in our brain such that when we eat junk food or engage in activities we are used to doing, our brain gets used to such behavior and releases dopamine.
Dopamine makes us happy.
If you use drugs like cocaine and weed, you brain releases dopamine too.
That’s what makes you remember how happy you felt and so you repeat the act.
Which means, Junk Food is like the Non-Fatal version of Deadly Drugs.

After I got done with the apple, I was still feeling twitchy.
I didn’t have the comfort dopamine rush of eating chips.

Still, I tried to resist.
I had some cheese puffs from the weekend. So I heated those up and ate them.
At least they were healthier than chips!

Soft Cheesey Cheese Puffs. MMMMMmmm

Right now, I’m still eying those chips sitting within arm’s reach from me.
Let me tell you how exhausting it is to eat healthy and resist the chips and all the temptations.
Cooking at 11pm, eating healthy snacks, resisting old familiar habits all require a lot of hard work in physical and mental effort.

Eating healthy sounds simple, it isn’t.
It takes A LOT of hard work and effort, especially at the beginning because it involves changing deep-seated habits.

I get very annoyed when people with domestic help, do not work, or are wealthy thump their noses down on the difficulty people with real, everyday lives have in developing a healthy lifestyle.
It greatly annoys me.

I had someone say dismissively,
“It’s easy to eat and live healthy, it’s just whether you want to!
If you don’t, blame yourself.”

People like her do not understand the reality of it.
It pisses me off when wealthy people who do not work tell me how easy it is to get something done.

When you have had a long day, sometimes you come back and it’s too tiring to cook a healthy meal.
If you go out to eat, try finding a dish that has minimal processed food, without pre-made items, or preservatives.
Chances are it’s all been processed in some factory at some point and they are cooking it with a massive amount of cheap oil and too much salt.

Eat at healthy organic, raw food restaurants every day?
Sounds great — if you can afford it.
A meal at such places will easily cost a min of $40 a meal.
That’s $1200 a month just for dinner per person.

The least expensive food options are generally sandwiches or pasta (filled with mayo and cheap filling).
Not exactly filled with healthy protein and vegetables.

Buy organic, sure. It costs a premium.
Cook a proper meal, that’ll be another hour.
When you are living in the real world with pressures and deadlines, who has much time to cook?

So if you’re trying to eat and live healthy, keep trying.
It’s a process for me. I fall off the bandwagon all the time.
Don’t stop trying!

Real life has its demands and financial resources are limited.
Do what you can.

Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about yourself for not being to eat healthy all the time.
If you have tips to eating and living healthy, share your tips with us!

My goal for today, a seemingly simple but tiring one. Avoid the Chips!

Here’s tips on how to keep fit in your 30s, 40s, 50s.
(If you’re in your teens or 20s, you’re incredibly fit, ENJOY LIFE. =))

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Because Croissant doesn’t have enough butter …

I typed this post Twice. and when I saved it, it got deleted Completely! TWICE!

I have a soft spot for croissant.
Especially freshly baked croissant with its unmistakable aroma and alluring call saying “Have me! I’m perfectly warm, flaky, and buttery!”

I walked into a new cafe this morning and the lovely smell of baking croissant hit me the moment I opened the door.
It was a little expensive for factory dough croissant (the kind that comes in a slab and you pinch it out and roll it and leave it in the oven to bake.)
But the aroma was too much for me. I HAD to have a croissant.

I pointed out to the girl the single croissant sitting on the baking tray she just took out from the oven.
It was calling out my name.

I was surprised by what I got ….

Because there ISN’T enough butter in croissant. They thought my heart needed MORE butter…

There’s PLENTY of butter that goes into croissant, which is why it’s fragrant, flaky, and buttery.
So, to serve it was butter is like being served Cream of Mushroom soup with a side cup of Full Cream just in case there isn’t enough cream in the soup…

For 3 seconds, my good and evil self debated whether I should do the right thing and return the butter.

But, salted butter… Oh! Another weak spot…. Yes, I have many many weak spots….

Unfortunately for my arteries, My evil self won and I spread the salted butter onto the warm, crisp, flaky croissant.

4 bites later, the croissant was gone, half the salted butter was used and I was a happy (but guilty and fatter) person.

But to start the day with croissant? Oh such joy!

I hope everyone’s having something good to kick start your day. Share what it is that makes you happy to start your day with!

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Let me cook for you, my dear…

While watching TV…
Me: Hmm. I kind of miss being able to cook for a boyfriend…

Friend: Yeah. You mean you miss being able to cook at all…

Me: I cook!…. every now and then…

Friend: Sure. Of course you do. You cook and it’s a good outcome when no pots get burned and no fires engulf the kitchen…

Me: I’ve never burned a house down from cooking!

Friend: Great. It’s better if you don’t cook. And it’s not like you’d cook for a guy. HOW many times have you attempted to poison a boyfriend that way?

Me: I like the idea of having a boyfriend that I could hypothetically cook for… it’s sweet and romantic… and I didn’t poison any boyfriends!!

Well, there was that once I offered to cook for a guy I liked… except that it was really more of a threat…
I told him how I screwed up Carbonara a bunch of times and it ended up as soggy scrambled eggs in pasta.

Even i can’t bear to eat my failed Carbonara

And after telling that story, I offered to cook him dinner…. It worked brilliantly.
He kept saying no. So i didn’t have to cook in the end. Which I didn’t want to anyway. I just wanted to offer and make sure my offer wasn’t taken up. Thank god he wasn’t suicidal.

That was quite amusing I must say. I still chuckle when i think of that. Brilliant me.

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The No Carb Diet Update…

(This kind of continues from yesterday’s diet story…)
I’m sure you’re all dying to hear the update on whether yesterday was truly a No Carb day….

We’ll save that for the last, because that’s what soaps/drama serials do… they save it for the next episode…

I just realized that whenever I decide to go on a diet, I set the limits of the diet (No Carbs, No Diary, No Alcohol, etc etc)
However, there’s something even more interesting I just realized today.
When I go on a diet, my head interprets it as “Warning: DON’T EAT. ”
So while most normal people abstain from foods they are not suppose to eat, I on the other hand, try to abstain from eating completely. Other than coffee or tea – which just makes matters worse because you get dehydrated.
In my defense, I suppose simply Not eating at all produces faster results…
Well, that’s until you (or I) feel faint or get stomach pains… Which I get pretty often.
If you want a clue why, see above.

So today has started out this way… me trying not to eat till it hit me that I tend to do this when I’m on a diet.

Which means when i’m on a diet, it’s not really a diet, it’s more accurately described as “Unconscious Self Starvation”. (Don’t worry, I’m not in danger. *try* being the key word.
It never lasts long enough. After a few hours, I succumb to carbs, snacks, something unhealthy…)

As for the big question, was yesterday a No Carbs day?
YES. It Was. YAY.

ps: Unless you count the remaining buttery cookies I shoved into my mouth just before I went to sleep…
well, even if you count that, technically the day was carb free… We just ran off the cliff at night before bedtime.

if any of you are psychologists, feel free to analyze me… I need help. LOTS of help. Thank you in advance

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Failed Diet, Carb Withdrawal and Why I Won’t Try Coke (the white kind…)

While I’ve been very silent (i.e., more silent than just silent), I’ve gotten A LOT of insights…
I have 2 weddings this week and I wanted to look my best in my slinky dress.
This started the 3 week goal of going to the gym twice a week (I’ve been once. where I felt faint after 30 mins)
And the no carb diet which I’ve failed miserably at – it went down faster than the speed of light.

But let me share my insights….

First, I got a glimpse of what it must be like to be a POW or innocent villager trapped in a jungle to avoid being tortured by invading troops and liv ing without much food.

Hunger, although a self imposed state for me, makes you jittery, restless, and gives you terrible nightmares.
I cannot imagine what cocaine withdrawal must be like because Carb withdrawal is bad. Really bad.

Carbs were all I could think of – a huge plate of pasta constantly projected in the cinematic screen of my mind.

Mario Batali makes my fav pasta. This is his Bolognese. It got me at hello

The pasta dishes flashed like a slide show: classic spaghetti bolognese with homemade tomato sauce stewed for hours finished with fresh basil and grated mozzarella cheese,
next: smooth carbonara fettucini weave with stir fried brown onions, sweet peas, sliced mushrooms and generous, crispy bacon
next: meaty mac & cheese baked in triple cheese and white wine with chicken and mushrooms and the perfect browned melted cheese top

This entire slide show looped in my head while I curled up in a chair like an addict without carbs.

I couldn’t concentrate, went from computer to kitchen to fix tea, took a shower, back to the laptop, pacing the floor…

I was a complete grouch I grunted, I snapped. I tried to the show the fangs which I did not have to get people to stop talking to me because it was all noise in my head. Unnecessary noise that I did not need!

I got headaches, I spent afternoons on the couch my head hurting from the torture of the carb slideshow, from being underfed.

and then, after putting myself through this for 3/4 of the day, I’d decide: This is TOO MUCH TO BEAR.
I’d locate the nearest plate of spaghetti and promptly gorge it all down with a satisfied glee like a Cheshire cat and curl up on the chair with total delight.

Till the guilt set in. I’d freak out at all the carbs I was NOT suppose to eat. I’d feel like a total failure: out of control and unable to do something as simple as abstain from carbs. WHAT kind of person can’t even abstain from carbs. AND can’t get to the gym twice a week for just 3 weeks.
Well, Me, of course. (and maybe you? tell me I’m not alone….)

So if this was what carb withdrawal felt like, I have no idea how bad cocaine withdrawal must be. It must feel like the world is ending. (Incidentally, while the Mayans predicted the end in a few days, I think it’s a total mistake. In the meanwhile, for good measure, please go out and eat more of the food you like. Just in case the world does end. Which I’m sure is totally false and a conspiracy rumor created by Duracell and canned food companies)

So on that note, I will not be trying coke anytime cos it would suck to go through coke withdrawal.
And we all know, all good things must come to an end: the coke supply will eventually run out.
Either because your dealer gets shot, you get arrested, or you simply run out of cash.
Drinking champagne is a safer habit, less expensive, less painful and far more glamorous.
That’s my advice if you’re thinking of trying coke.

Back to the diet, the original point in case we’ve all forgotten.
Yesterday, I decided I was actually going to have NO CARBS dammit!
It was good – until someone innocently put a box of freshly baked cookies in front of me.
That was the end of no carbs. (yes cookies count as carbs….)
I stuffed my face with half a box of cookies…
In my friend’s defense, he did not know I was on a no carb diet.

Today, I woke up and told myself “TODAY WILL be carb free!!”
I went many tads too far and pretty much didn’t eat anything from the time I woke up.
I felt faint.
I was busy running errands and finally had a break for food and got a bowl of soup.
After soup, I felt better.
Insight: starving yourself can make you feel faint. #obvious insights
Huh. Who knew!!

My proud moment today? I walked past caramel popcorn…
I flipped through the manual of No Carbs diet to find an exclusion clause for caramel popcorn.
No such exclusion. Damn.
I walked away from caramel popcorn like a demure young lady.
I’m so proud of myself. Just imagine the thing I do everyday if I’m proud of this small act….

So, that’s my unsuccessful diet and carb withdrawal experience.
The last wedding is on Friday. I’m hoping to wear a bandage dress. I’m not sure how that will go…
Let’s see if I manage to go carb free for the next few days.
but OMG, I’m totally devouring a plate of pasta after Friday…


Watch the video: Coca-cola and Toothpaste coca cola experiment with toothpaste #cocacola #toothpaste #mentos #coke (January 2022).