It’s Foodie Friday, and this week, boys and girls, I’m not having any fun. I’m experiencing feelings I haven’t had since I found out about the Santa thing many years ago. I’m sorry to end your week on a down note, but I found something out that I need to share. It is, of course, helpful to those of us in business, but it’s really a bummer.
You know those cans of pumpkin you use to make pumpkin pie this time of year? That orange goo that turns into warm spice wonderfulness? It turns out that it’s not pumpkin. Nope. It’s squash. In fact, it’s multiple kinds of squash (Butternut, Hubbard, and others) blended together and labeled “pumpkin. The Libby’s people actually have their own variety to replace actual pumpkin, which apparently is too watery and stringy when canned.
I’m sorry if I just ruined Thanksgiving for you. But it points to a broader issue, which is that of transparency. The can says “pumpkin.” I suppose not many folks are lining up to make squash pie, but a lot of folks do think they’re paying top dollar for one species of fish and they’re getting another. They also think they’re buying organic when they’re not.
Trust is among the most important things we try to develop wth our customer base. Once we violate that trust, it’s almost impossible to get it back, and consumers have enough choices that they can move on to someone more trustworthy pretty easily. When you’re pushing pumpkin pie that turns out to be squash, Boston Cream isn’t that far behind. Oh wait – that’s not a pie at all – it’s a cake, technically. OK, apple then.
Don’t serve squash and call it pumpkin, no matter what it is you’re selling. Please?