Sooooo, sales of Lean Cuisine PLUMMET???
Jimmy sent out a link to this blog post about Lean Cuisine's sagging sales. Honestly, I have never had many of these "TV" dinners, but I know lots of folks who eat them all the time. Back in the day when I was doing Weight Watchers and got plenty of coupons, I did try a few of these "healthy"-type frozen dinners. But I thought they were bland and the portions and ingredients left me starving.
Lean Cuisines are big with people watching their weight at lunch. You can bring them into the office, pop them in the microwave, and when you are done, that's it. Great for portion control, but I don't know anybody who confuses them with real food.
Roz O'Hearn (yes, that looks like a real name, not just a St. Paddy's name!) says that Nestle (the company, not the Marion) uses "the same quality ingredients
our consumers purchase when cooking from scratch."
Being data-driven as I am, I had to check this out. I checked out the ingredients list for the first entree I could find, something called "Glazed Chicken". Yum. Embedded in the long list of ingredients were lots that I never use when I cook from scratch. And here they are:
High Fructose Corn Syrup
modified corn starch
partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
wheat berries (OK, might be some disagreement on this. Some consider it natural, some consider it a natural poison.)
Sorry to break it to ya Roz, but I don't think I could even buy modified corn starch at a store. I think that is something people use when they are freezing things, not when they are cooking it from scratch.
Curious, I went to their website to check out more lists. I noticed a new brand name, Honestly Good. Now be careful and not use that phrase when describing food, since it is trademarked. I guess it is just a brand, not an actual description of the actual food, which isn't as Honest as it first seems.
I scanned down the list of ingredients and found fewer than in the regular brand. I don't have rice starch or dehydrated chicken broth in my pantry at the moment. But wait, what is in this chicken broth? My own scratch-chicken broth is chicken cooked in water and a few veggies for additional flavoring. This chicken broth mix has added "flavor". Yum, sounds flavorful. They also add "natural flavor". That's good. I have lots of natural flavors in my food too. I guess the difference between "flavor" and "natural flavor" is that one of the flavors is unnatural.
Its probably MSG. They wouldn't "man-up" enough to admit that, in such an Honestlie-Good product and such.
Here's what I think about the sales plummet. People aren't eating pasta anymore. So many people are going wheat-free, and if they are going to blow it, a real pizza is a much better choice. Just for fun, I started looking through all the ingredients lists for all the entrees. Twenty-four out of the 24 I checked had added wheat. When I tried to do a search, I found only two entrees that had no wheat at all. People trying to avoid wheat altogether would also have a problem with the website. When I entered "gluten" to exclude I got twelve pages of items, plus a gluten-ey list of entrees they somehow thought I would like at the bottom.
The one "Honestly Good" entree I checked had an astounding (to me anyway) 29 grams of carbs, and that included 6 grams of sugars that were hidden in various ways.
Honestly, Nestle, people aren't buying your dinners because they suck. They are either pasta or potstickers or whatever you want to call it, or bread or pita or whatever, and the few entrees that have the "safe" rice have either added gluten or wheat-based soy sauce. We just don't want to eat that stuff anymore. (And you should never have sold Peter's chocolate.)