Important Clarification

Serving Suggestion

OK, this is a terrible photo, but it was the best I was willing to do for the sake of a snarky blog post, so bear with me.

The product pictured above is a bag of cinnamon crunch granola made specifically for people with food allergies, which, I'm happy to say, don't affect me but, I'm less happy to say, do affect my friend Connie, the original purchaser of this breakfast treat. It turns out that this free-of-everything-else (wheat, nuts, soy, flavor) granola contains flax seeds, which Connie can't do, so she offered the bag to me.

And here's what I find delightful and maddening in equal measures. The image on the front of the package is of a very simple, totally unadorned bowl of granola--no fruit on top, no milk peeking out from under the granola clumps, nothing. It's very literally a bowl of granola. In the background there's an orange gerbera daisy and a few sticks of cinnamon. And down in the bottom left corner, below the big green "Allergen Free" emblem, are the words "Serving Suggestion."

Now, OK, I've complained here before about ridiculous food labels (notably the can of 100% cashews that bore a "Contains cashews" notice), and I'm sure there are all sorts of ridiculous American litigious reasons behind this, but seriously. Are there people who really expect that, upon opening this bag, they will discover not only granola pellets but also the bowl, flower, and decorative spice sticks pictured on the package? Must they be encouraged to go ahead with their planned consumption of this cereal even if their breakfast table does not identically resemble the one shown here? Do they truly need the reassurance that this is a suggestion--only a suggestion!--and not the required serving method and layout?

I understand the whole "Serving Suggestion" disclaimer on food packages that show their contents all tarted up in some sort of foodie version of the boudoir photo, with parts that glisten and garnishes so ripe and fresh they threaten to explode, but seriously, this whole granola photo could not be more straightforward unless it showed the cereal in a heap on a table with the open, empty bag lurking in the background. And even then, perhaps the manufacturer would have to clarify that the table itself was not included.

Are we as a nation really this dumb?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Soon enough we'll be like the people in the film "Idiocracy"!