Unless you’re under the age of 10, you probably don’t want the words “pink slime” describing something you’re about to eat. That’s why millions were outraged when they learned that this ammonia-treated beef filler is commonly found in meat at fast food joints and in many grocery outlets (no surprises here)—creating a PR nightmare for companies that have had dealings with this icky ingredient. Meanwhile, slime-free brands are reassuring customers that their beef products are safe.
Late last month, Wendy’s took out full-page newspaper ads across the U.S., clearly stating, “We’ve never used ‘pink slime’ and we never will,” placing the burger chain in a league apart from McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell (which all announced plans to discontinue pink slime earlier this year). In the grocery category, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market put out a similar message on its website (“At fresh&easy, we have never, would never, and will never use ‘pink slime’ in our ground beef”). The chain took the message a step further by hosting a “swap meat” on March 28, allowing shoppers to trade in up to two pounds of ground beef from another retailer for a package of Fresh & Easy brand meat.
As transparency becomes the expectation rather than the exception in the food category—and as consumers grow increasingly anxious about food quality—brands that can clearly illustrate safety and purity will continue to gain ground over those with suspect ingredients.
Photo Credit: LWY