Monthly Archives: June 2013

Vegetable Bread? Really? Come on Dempster’s!

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As I’m currently enjoying some rest and relaxation in a different locale, I’ve been watching some television and noticed a recent commercial for Dempster’s Vegetable Bread.  The bragging rights for this bread is “a half serving of vegetables in every two slices”.  Really?  So to get ONE daily serving of vegetables (Canada’s Food Guide suggests that adults get between 7 and 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily), one would have to eat FOUR slices.  My quick math, if I haven’t consumed too much alcohol while resting and relaxing, tells me that I would have to eat 28 to 40 slices of bread in a day to get my required amount of vegetables.  Come on Dempster’s!  Dempster’s bread has so many other nutritional qualities that surely insulting the intelligence of the folks that eat your products isn’t the way to sell more bread. 

 

To add additional insult to your potential consumers, the commercial shows two thin models – one of them eating a sandwich, supposedly made with Dempster’s Vegetable bread.  The one model says in shock to the other, “You’re eating a sandwich!”  The statement is made as if the devil himself made the bread and bargained away the model’s first-born child in order to eat the sandwich.  The response, said in complete defense-mode, “ Yes!  It’s made with Dempster’s Vegetable bread.”  Translation:  Even I can eat bread if it’s made with vegetables.  Well eat up baby, ‘cause you’re gonna have to eat at least 28 slices to get the vegetables you need.  I haven’t checked but maybe Dempster’s owns a portion of the Ex-Lax corporation and they are planning a cross promotion.  That would be rather handy as eating all that bread would require some of that chocolate magic to get that bread blockage moving.  Maybe putting lettuce, onions, spinach, peppers, etc. on the sandwich would be a better idea?  Duh!   You can do better Dempster’s.    Maybe it’s time for a new marketing group?  Time to refill my glass. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There Really is Still Good Service

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There are many posts in this blog criticizing banks, insurance companies, marketing ideas, and some agricultural commodity boards but I want this post to be direct evidence that I can and will write complimentary posts when warranted.  As my years of experience get bigger (that’s just a nice way of saying ‘as I get older’), I find fewer and fewer areas of experience that warrant recommending but I’ve actually found two separate stores, in two separate industries that I am willing to brag about today.

The first one is the Nike factory outlet store located on King Street in Kitchener, Ontario.  I desperately needed a new pair of running shoes as I threw my old, over-used and smelly Nikes out in Philadelphia after running and training for three half-marathons in them.  Without shoes and really needing to run, I would describe myself as a ‘sure sale’ in the retail world.  As the Nike outlet was some distance away, I decided to try a closer Nike retailer, SportChek in the hopes of avoiding a lengthy drive to Nike.  I was honest with the staff at SportChek, specifically stating that I hoped that they could give me a reason not to drive all the way to the Nike store.  I explained that I needed a shoe that supported over-pronation in runners, the sales clerk asked if I had looked at the shoes on the wall display.  I explained that I had but that I wasn’t sure which shoes were for over-pronators.  At this point, as if I had irritated or interrupted him, the sales clerk simply stated, “We don’t have anything for you here.”  I gave the clerk a look of amazement and asked, “with the hundreds of pairs of shoes you have in here, and the ones that you can have ordered in, you have nothing for me to buy?”  The clerk succinctly and quickly replied, “No.”  This clerk should be fired but thanks to him, the Nike store got my visit.  And what a difference!  A young male employee, Trevor, greeted me and asked me how he could help me.  This greeting certainly was a great start to improving my mood.  I then explained (as I had at SportChek) that I desperately needed running shoes and ones that supported over-pronation.  As before, I explained that I didn’t care what colour or style, didn’t even care if it was a women’s shoe or a man’s – simply needed a runner for over-pronation.  Trevor thought for a few seconds and said, “I’ve got two pairs that are on clearance that would work but I’m not sure they’re the right size.”  Unfortunately they weren’t the right size but Trevor went on to offer to check with another Nike store and see if they might have my size.  Really?  That was a great idea!  So he did that, had the shoes shipped in, called me when they arrived and I am the owner of a new pair of Nike shoes!  Thank you Trevor and thank you Nike!

After my Nike purchase, I was in need of supper so I headed to the nearby Pita Pit that was in the same plaza as the Nike Store.  For a second time in a very short period of time, I was given a very friendly greeting from Dylan and Jenna at the Pita Pit.  They asked what they could make for me and I began to check out the featured item.  Dylan quickly recognized my curiosity and pointed out the highlights of the featured item.  The feature had a chipotle sauce that normally would scare me off from ordering it, but upon learning that, Dylan automatically went to the sauce, prepared a small sample of the sauce for me and had it in my hands before we were even done chatting about my apprehension of the spice.  What a guy!  That was all it took.  The great service continued with explanations of other sauces that I had always been hesitant to try.  Thanks to Dylan and Jenna patience and informed suggestions, I had the best pita I have ever had.  It was a great evening and I am so thankful that there really is great service out there.

Have you had great service lately from a retailer, food or service provider?  Tell me about it.  I’d love to share it with other readers who are on the hunt for great service.

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Did Gray, Burnbrae or EFO ‘Inhale’ or Not?

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According to a blog post by Jim Romahn (http://agri007.blogspot.com/2013/06/court-documents-detail-egg-deficiencies.html), Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reports demonstrate that the statements made by Norman Bourdeau about cracks being packed into retail Grade A egg cartons, are true.  Attempts to keep this evidence hidden have been going on for years and now the ‘yolk’ is on L. H. Gray/Gray Egg Farms.  The consequences for this are yet to be determined, but let’s hope there are some consequences.  Especially since Gray, through his legal representative, has been protesting and denying this practice vehemently since this whole saga began. 

 

Gray isn’t the only party who said the equivalent of “but I didn’t inhale”.  Burnbrae Eggs and the Egg Farmers of Ontario also took that position.  So is Mr. Bourdeau correct about them too?  I had hoped that Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission would have at least checked into EFO as they are the supervising body for EFO.  Literally after years of repeated requests, Farm Products is finally (and probably reluctantly) ‘investigating’ EFO – but it’s just their transparency that is being questioned.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve been hollering about EFO’s lack of transparency for years so I’m thankful that Farm Products is finally doing something – or at least appear to be doing something.  But this goes beyond transparency and that should be evident to all parties involved – egg producers, graders, Farm Products, CFIA and the Ministry of Agriculture.  If only the majority of consumers understood the egg industry and supply management, this would have been investigated long ago. 

 

It appears that Mr. Bourdeau is not Chicken Little stating that the sky is falling.  The question is how many foxes are there in this tale?  

 

 

 

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