March 24, 2014

Cheetos, Doritos, Baby Carrots: The Top Three Things Baby Carrots Are Not


In a shocking, exclusive report from Huffington Post, which they copied from imgur, where five months ago user SassyPants had LOLCATS'd the animated GIFs from a Buzzfeed post about an industrial trade group's 5-year-old PR video, baby carrots are actually just regular carrots cut into 2-inch stumps.

Which, duh. Read the package. There's a difference between baby carrots and "baby cut carrots," or "mini cut carrots."

Somehow all these journalists missed the real shock about "baby carrots," which is that they were invented by Bakersfield carrot processor Mike Yurosek in 1986, who was tired of tossing out up to 70% of his carrots because they were scarred, twisted, or "slightly rotted." So he got a frozen green bean cutter. And he peeled them in a giant cement mixer-like thing. And then "polished" them. This is the real advance here, people. We get artisanal carrots at the farmer's market once in a while, and peeling carrots is annoying, tedious, and messy. Pay them what they want.

And read Wikipedia. Because they have these facts. And a link to a 2004 article on Yurosek where no less than the food editor of Better Homes & Gardens says she was "shocked" to discover that baby carrots are cut carrots. Being shocked for us is what media people do.

Wikipedia also mentions a 2010 "hip marketing campaign" by Bolthouse Farms, another carrot conglomerate, which used ironic sex and violence to promote baby [cut] carrots as an alternative to Cheetos.

First, let's point out the epic sexist/sexy ad fail of an "overt sexual innuendo" involving a woman eating a 2-inch carrot. I am personally mesmerized by these words, written and spoken by actual professionals:

Ad psychologist Carol Moog says kids may be disappointed to find all the flashy ads are really just for carrots. She says they need to make carrots more fun -- like, perhaps, putting an orange (but natural) dusting on carrots that mimics Cheetos.

Consultant Kate Newlin says she wants to like the idea. She loves the fact that carrots are the color of Cheetos and make the crunch of Doritos. But she says she is not quite buying the premise of carrots mimicking junk food. "The guilt is missing," says Newlin, author of Passion Brands. "I don't think Frito-Lay will be trembling."

Yeah, that was before Bolthouse Farms introduced Baby Carrot ShakeDowns, the bag of baby [cut] carrots with a packet of flavor dusting attached, in Ranch, Salsa, or Chili Lime.

They promise to "smother delicious chili lime flavor all over your snack time," and to "single-handedly turn on-the-go lifestyles into flavor-filled lifestyles." Frankly, the whole thing sounds like a disgusting, smeary mess, and you're one wrong tear from that powder packet exploding all over you, your kid, and your car seat. No thanks. How baby carrots are made, 344, 066 views [youtube]
The Extremely Upsetting Truth About Baby Carrots EVERYTHING IS A LIE. 776,095 Views. [buzzfeed]
How do they make Baby carrots? 173,935 views [imgur]
Getting To The Bottom Of Baby Carrot Lies (WATCH), 808 Comments [huffpo]
Baby carrot [wikipedia]
Baby carrots take on junk food with hip marketing campaign [usatoday]
Baby Carrot ShakeDowns® Chili Lime [bolthouse]

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