On Friday, news of Harvey Weinstein’s ‘habits’ was everywhere. There was another big news story Friday, that you may have missed. In my, food centric world it was maj. Rx bar, a nutrition bar company, was bought for $600 million dollars by Kellogg’s. That’s a really big number and I tried to be excited for a company we’ve supported since its infancy. But there’s a problem.
Rx bars are notable because they slap a short ingredient list on the front of the package. And they get bonus points for humor by listing ‘No B.S.’ What you see is what you get, we’re honest and genuine.
Facebook commenters mentioned a letter RX bar sent to customers. The gist was that you’d never know anything was different, Kellogg’s likes them just the way they are. But we all know. And I’m not sure it feels honest and genuine to be ‘in bed’ with or married to a company built on B.S. (Pop tarts, Eggo, Froot Loops). Strangely, I couldn’t cut and paste the “smart label” for Pop Tart’s but here are the ingredients:
SOYBEAN AND PALM OIL (WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS)
HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP
SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK
MODIFIED CORN STARCH
BROWN SUGAR SYRUP
MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES
SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE
YELLOW 6 LAKE
BLUE 2 LAKE<
NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS
YELLOW 5 LAKE
RED 40 LAKE
VITAMIN A PLAMITATE
Some of my colleagues support this union. This will give RX bars reach and exposure. Just tell me how this is different from an actress saying, OK I’ll jump in the sack (I think he prefers showers, ick) with Harvey because it’s good for my career, for my brand. No, everyone thinks that’s wrong. Sure, it’s a little different, using powder to coerce women is different than a corporate merger but not that different.
Carolyn and I have each had lucrative opportunities with brands we don’t necessarily endorse. Each time we have lengthy discussions and, at times, try to see if we could make a positive change with our messaging. But we wholeheartedly believe in quality and, for that reason, work with a handful of smaller companies at a time. We turn the majority of tempting offers down. And, for that reason Foodtrainers isn’t worth 600 million dollars (yet).