If you really believe Snickers satisfies your hunger and find the crunch of Doritos’ irresistible, you must try the new junk food: Baby carrots!
I don’t buy baby carrots myself; I prefer to get whole organic carrots instead of the strangely uniformly shaped, plastic-wrapped ones. But for would-be healthier eaters who keep reaching for the convenient Cheetos instead of virtuous veggies, a new campaign with the slogan “Baby Carrots: Eat ‘Em Like Junk Food” seeks to make you crave the carroty crunch by appealing to your fondness for Fritos.
This new campaign — backed by a group of 50 carrot farmers — emphasizes not the carrot’s healthy goodness, but its junk food-like features. Like chips, carrots are crunchy. And also like chips, the “new” baby carrot “products” will be packaged in chip-like convenience bags. Yes, that means these “junk food” baby carrots will come with disposable waste — but they wouldn’t be creating any more waste than the bags of chips snackers are going through now.
While the response of the eating public has yet to be measured, the carrot campaign’s getting a lot of notice due to its unique, pro-junk food angle. USA Today reports that we can soon expect to see slogans like “The original orange doodles,” while the AP reveals that a “scarrots” campaign’s planned for next month: “Halloween version of baby carrots will come in spooky packaging and have glow-in-the-dark temporary tattoos, ideal for giving out to trick-or-treaters.” Salon.com‘s Riddhi Shah calls the campaign “brilliantly self-referential”: “Mastering the dark art of reverse-reverse psychology, the ad-masters obviously understand that people aren’t going to eat something based on nutritional brownie points alone. ”
In general, I like the idea of making carrots an easier, more tempting choice for snackers — but I have mixed feelings about the campaign. My biggest fear is that carrots will become — weirder, for the lack of a better word. A psychologist quoted in the USA Today article suggests “putting an orange (but natural) dusting on carrots that mimics Cheetos,” while a man behind the campaign quoted in the AP article says “new variations could be developed, including baby carrots with ranch flavoring.”
That said, it will be nice to see veggies as a prominent option in vending machines and convenience stores. I do wonder though — Will people really “eat ‘em like junk food”? And will kids really appreciate getting “scarrots” in their Halloween treat?