Like millions of people all over the U.S., I started out watching Super Bowl XLVI with high hopes.
By the end of the night, however, those hopes were dashed.
Oh, I’m not talking about who won. I’m talking about baby carrots.
In the onslaught of media coverage leading up to the big game, the Wall Street Journal ran an article about Super Bowl snacking and some new items shoving their way onto the traditional field of pizza, hot wings and beer.
The headline food was — surprise — baby carrots.
According to the article, Bakersfield, Calif.-based Bolthouse Farms ships 28% more carrots during the week before the game than in the weeks before or after. Grimmway Farms, also in Bakersfield, reported 25% higher baby carrot consumption that Sunday than other Sundays.
“The Super Bowl is the largest single event for carrots,” Grimmway Farms marketing director Bob Borda said in the article.
While this hardly puts the snacking tally at baby carrots, 1, cheese puffs, 0, it’s encouraging to see another produce item gaining groupies in addition to the wildly popular avocado (fans ate 143 million of them during this year’s game, according to the Journal).
A couple of years ago, Bolthouse and several other carrot growers banded together for the “Baby Carrots: Eat ’Em Like Junk Food” campaign.
They put their baby carrots in snack-style packaging and rolled out in-your-face-funny media promotions to support the idea that carrots were “snacktacular” treats in their own right, not a bland substitute for the cheese puffs that add inches to your waistline.
I thought the campaign was right in line with the crazy ads that run usually during the Super Bowl.
Hey, if you have a captive audience of millions of Americans, many of whom are crunching down your carrots with their eyes glued to the screen, why not remind them while they’re watching of just how great those little orange guys are?
I probably paid more attention to the commercial breaks than the actual game, but, sadly, not one baby carrot did I see.
I didn’t see an ad for anything produce-related among all the Bud Light, Doritos, M&Ms and Coca-Cola polar bears — not even one of those salad dressing ads where they pull cauliflower out of a popcorn machine.
To be fair, beer and soda companies have colossal marketing budgets, and Super Bowl ads aren’t cheap. According to ESPN.com, a 30-second spot during the game cost an average of $3.5 million.That’s a lot of baby carrots.
There’s always next year. Remember Pom Wonderful’s juice ads starring Eve, Aphrodite and a gladiator?
What’s to prevent produce companies partnering for an ad to show game-watchers their products aren’t just healthy, but also sexy and delicious?
A couple of days before the game, @babycarrots tweeted “How can a bowl be super if there are no baby carrots in it?”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
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