Ria sent along an example of something simultaneously routine and jarring. Disney princess grapes:
Thinking out loud here: By now, in the U.S., we’re used to thinking about food being branded with mascots, movie/tv show characters, and even corporate entities. When I posted about Cars– and Disney princess-themed diet snack packs, for example, it wasn’t the branding of food that interested me. But there is something unfamiliar to me about the associating of grapes with Disney. I think it has to do with the idea of processed versus “fresh” foods. In this case, Disney is marking a (genetically-modified) natural product in its natural state. This feels different than marking a brightly-colored, largely synthetic, already highly-branded foodstuff. Can Disney really claim grapes? Celery? Red peppers? To me, these are the last things in the grocery store that actually feel as if they come straight from the farmer. Now they’re taking a detour through the happiest place on earth?
Ria links the new development in branding to the obesity panic and the push for kids to eat healthier food. And she’s suspicious of the linking of corporate interests to health.
What do think? Are you as weirded out as I am? Is Ria onto something? What does it mean!? What’s next? Republican Party chicken breasts? South Park brand brown rice?Lisa Wade, PhD is a Visiting Scholar at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming Introduction to Sociology text. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.