Edsels Everywhere

We are swimming in a sea of Edsels, or at least with a mess of Edsel tadpoles.

Things change. And during a major recession, things change more than usual. Add to that a health care crisis, an energy crisis, and an environmental crisis or two and if you think business as usual will return and continue as usual, you are probably trying to sell one of those Edsels.

Here is one example: I met with two business women over coffee on a recent morning. The menu was loaded with Edsel tadpoles. Each of us struggled to order something to go with our coffee – it just seems the decent thing to do when occupying a table for a lengthy discussion. 

In search of something small and healthful, I ended up ordering an “everything” bagel, which had everything on the outside but nothing on the inside. It came with cream cheese. So, while relatively small, this was not a healthful choice in my book.

One colleague ordered fruit with yogurt. Sounds healthful, right? But the yogurt turned out to be flavored, which to me suggests high fructose corn syrup. And the fruit looked like it came out of a can, perhaps with heavy syrup. It made my bagel look like a winner.

Many of the other diners were loading up on traditional breakfasts, and they likely will for years to come, but for a growing number of us, the “healthful” additions of decades ago:  yogurt, granola, fruit, bran muffins, salads, etc., are no longer considered healthful. If you are in the food business, there is clearly an opportunity here to appeal to those of us who have shifted our eating habits and to the parents who are eager to shift their children’s eating habits.

There is no doubt that I will recommend a different meeting place next time.

Where are your Edsels?

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