My parents subscribed to Southern Living from the start in the ‘60s, and I began my own subscription when I graduated from Auburn in the ‘80s. Initially assuming I’d be reading it for life, I dropped it in the mid-90s and have not touched it since. There were many things that turned me off about it by then but the kicker was when my ex attended one of their cooking shows, where one of the presenters said “now ladies, remember that Kraft really is the mayonnaise of the south”. This was bad enough for us, a Hellman’s household, but the Duke’s people were ready to riot. Just because something has an office in a southern state does not prevent them from becoming a corporate whore instead of serving as a cultural institution.
A couple of years ago I read an article about how Washington, DC was a second tier follower city when it came to trends. The specific example for that article was drinking Fernet Branca as an “insider” trend, noting that it didn’t arrive in DC until at least two years after it became a thing in San Francisco. The article noted that Fernet was at that point a passing trend and mentioned the new trending drink. If that article was accurate, then Raleigh was roughly 18 months behind DC on such trends, making us a third tier follower city. I have no idea whether Birmingham is a second, third or other tier follower but relocating a major national publication from a first tier trend setter city to a follower city seems to be more corporate and less cultural in rationale. How this may affect their choice of mayo remains to be seen . . .