Dear Foodie: Truth in Labeling vs. Marketing Hype

Dear Foodie,

I recently got into crafting and selling cheese.  I consider myself an artist.  By that I mean I make my cheeses by hand in a meticulous process I learned in a special course over the internet.  I walked into a big box grocery store the other day and a cheese that I won’t name was being touted as “hand-crafted.”  I am outraged because I know enough about cheese to know this isn’t true about this particular brand.  What can I do?  – I Make My Own Cheese If You Please

cheese aisle 

Dear I Make My Own Cheese If You Please,

You have hit on what should be a growing concern for consumers.  Call it “truth in labeling.”  The fact is that the lines are blurring between the facts and truth on the one hand and marketing on the other.  The same thing is happening with what is often referred to as “hand-crafted” beer.  That can mean just about anything since “hands” have to be involved in just about anything that is put together.  It does conjure up an image in our minds of the Duck Dynasty down home boys hand crafting their hearts away first on duck calls and then who knows what next and making millions for just sitting around being goofy!

Your best bet is to beat the big boys at their own game and get to the point where you can be paid millions to act goofy.  Figure out how you can tell your story in such a way that it elbows its way out of the shadow.  The David and Goliath story is still relevant in today’s world but it helps to have a pipeline to an inheritance or a benefactor.   Just remember, there is no law against this type of marketing unless it tells out and out lies or makes some silly health claim like eating our cheese will replace your viagra.

There isn’t any easy way to put it except that we are on our own in this wild west of information overload.  Now, about your comment that you learned to be a craftsman over the internet?  That causes me more concern, frankly.  Really?

Leave a Reply