Monday, July 10, 2006

Misguided Elite Packaging


I've entered 1950's-era Pleasantville

There is a very well-known food company here in Israel called Elite. They are best known for their chocolate bars, but they manufacture other culinary and confectionary goods as well. Their products are not highest-quality -- this is Israeli chocolate, not Belgian-- but it suffices for satisfying a sweet tooth, the way Reese's or Entenmann's would do in the States.

They recently introduced a new line of packaged cakes, convenient and passably tasty, but unfortunately not as good as my beloved Entenmann's cakes of old.

Anyway, someone in their branding division should lose his or her job, because . . . well . . . here is the display at my local grocery store. See for yourself.

In case you can't really see what I'm talking about, here are closeups:

This is the packaging for the "English cake," which is a vanilla cake with some sort of fruit bits or chips inside . . .

And here is the marble cake . . .

Coffee-chocolate brownies . . .

And, the coup-de-grace, rich chocolate brownies . . .

When I first saw them, I didn't know whether to be aghast or just laugh. I took up a package of brownies to the native-Israeli owner of the store, with whom I have a friendly relationship. I said "this would never fly in America. Over there, you'd have newspaper articles written about it, and people boycotting the product."

His puzzled answer: "Why? What's the problem?"

I pointed out how the colors of the "models" match the color of the cake, and how that is "not progressive." (I don't know how to say "politically correct" in Hebrew. For all I know, there is no such term in Hebrew.)

He paused for a moment and then said "Sarah . . . you know, you're right. I never would have thought of that, but you're right.

"I'll be more aware of those things from now on. Thanks for pointing that out."


One small step at a time, folks. One small step at a time.

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