Monday, December 19, 2011

The Power of Marketing

Well, it's been awhile, my friends.

Gotta love the Christmas Craziness that has been ensuing and sucking up all my free minutes. Is anyone else out there  momentarily hysterical here and there? I have moments when I think I have it all together, and then I start to freak out.

I'm digressing.

So, here's the deal for today: marketing. Now, we are a society of information overload, over-stimulation, instant gratification and excess...and I fall into those traps a lot, but I try to be somewhat savvy when I'm being marketed a product that I am going to consume into my body, read: food.

So, on our last trip to Chicago, Joe and I were out to lunch for a high dollar hamburger. We enjoy a high dollar hamburger. I love that something I whip up for a quick meal is deemed fancy. I love that ketchup at these joints comes in a little's so cute.

I'm digressing again.

Here's the deal with the high dollar hamburger, while it's delicious and on a fancy bun, the marketing is what makes it "the meal of the minute." Our burgers were supposedly from beef that was locally grown. I like that phrase, but I was in downtown Chicago. Where is beef locally grown on State Street? Where are the steers grazing in a lovely pasture on the Eisenhower Expressway?

So, this almost seemed like false marketing. Well, not false, but the wording was incorrect. While it was promoting a great thing, and something I believe in, the phrase, "locally grown," was not necessarily correct. I consider locally grown as something like the salsa I received from our church's Christian Education Coordinator. The only thing in there that wasn't from her garden was the salt.

That's locally grown as well as impressive.

So, I guess I'm being picky, and that's okay, because I'm entitled. Anyway, my suggestion to this bistro as well as the world is to be careful with what they word and market. Locally grown is going to become a white noise phrase, just as sustainable has become. Do we really, really know what sustainable means, and why is it truly important, again?  I guess my beef (pardon the pun) with this is that, yet again, folks are relying on buzz words, rather than the truth. Maybe there's a beef farm just minutes from the Palmer House Hilton, and I will apologize profusely for this rant, but I just wish that restaurants, grocery stores, and the like would focus more on putting a face and a name to a product rather than just a buzz word.

So, when you're out having a high dollar hamburger, and they are bragging about their beef, please ask another question. Ask from WHOM the beef was acquired. Ask if those farmers ever come in and enjoy the fruits of their labor at this restaurant, because if the Palmer House Bistro (or whatever it's called) wants to use some Webel Beef for its fancy schmancy hamburger, I will 1) remember the name of the establishment and 2) will gladly put our picture on the menu.

I do have cute kids.


  1. I can relate to this in banking. Some banks will advertise as home owned or home town, when actually their stock is on the board of trade or their home office is in New Jersey. Being on the plate in front of you does not make it home grown.
    Merry Christmas to the Webel family from us down staters.

  2. Awesome post!!!

    There's a family from our church pictured on the Frozen Farmland sausage links!

  3. Ask a dozen people what they think "local" food means, and you will get a dozen answers. I have heard someone say that "local" means they can drive there in a day. Buzz words are it! :)