Eat Your Vegetables

Bread isn’t a vegetable, in case we’ve lost sight of this.

I eat bread. I love bread. A month of not eating bread taught me that for most of my life, I’m going to continue eating and loving bread. Bread and I are on good terms.

I also eat vegetables. I love salads. I put spinach in my morning smoothies, I can steam a mean head of broccoli and I’ve even been known to massage kale on occasions.

These are two separate parts of what, for me, is a balanced diet. And I do mean separate, because apparently there’s some confusion on that point. What point, you ask?

Vegetables are not bread. Bread is not vegetables.

Just so we’re clear on that.

Luckily for our already obese North American society, Dempsters isn’t on the same page on this one. You see, they did some market research and came to the conclusion that eating healthy is “like, seriously hard work, you guys.”

If people can take a shortcut and feel better about eating bread instead of vegetables, they probably will. They’ll buy this bread, feel better about themselves and have a great reason to skip eating a side salad, or putting extra spinach on that sandwich.

This is the premise behind Dempsters’ Garden. Vegetable. Bread.




This is where I get mad. Truly angry. From where I stand, this bread is an option sold to people on the premise that they can feel better about their existing eating habits, and not focus on doing the hard work of maintaining health and wellness. Buy this bread, and you don’t need to eat more vegetables, because you’re getting them in the bread you’re already eating. Never mind the additional benefits of a whole vegetable, which I won’t even get into because I’m not a nutritionist, or a dietician, or a doctor.

I’m a marketer. A marketer who is saddened that this is what passes as great work in our field. To a lot of people, that is what Dempsters Garden Vegetable Bread represents. Identifying a way to revitalize a product category that’s fallen out of the “healthy food” category, by tying it to vegetables? Showing models eating sandwiches in an ad, which ties bread to the current, mostly unattainable image of beauty? Selling what will inevitably be an easy way out that won’t fix anything? Thinking that the juxtaposition of models eating sandwiches is revolutionary?

I’m not the only one who sees this as troubling. I can’t be. I want to do work that helps people connect with the products, services and people to help them live fun, interesting, long, healthy lives. At the very least, I don’t want my work to promote products that do the opposite.

Vegetable bread does the opposite.

No matter how many platitudes you write about how it will secretly help sneak vegetables into more meals, vegetable bread isn’t a solution that will really help people be healthier. This is the diet Bandaid on the obesity bullet wound, and we all know it.

Garden. Vegetable. Bread.