business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email from MNB reader Russell Zwanka:

The discussion on vanilla ice cream, and whether or not it should contain vanilla, is a fascinating issue.  When do we sell the "essence" and when do we sell the "actual thing in the name"?  In our classes, we usually talk about Kona Brewing, with the relaxing ads about Hawaiian culture and making all day happy hour.  You see the ads, and you'd never know it could be brewed in New Hampshire, Tennessee, Oregon, or be consumed on the beaches of Tennessee!  Kona defended their lawsuit by saying they were selling the "essence" of Aloha culture, no matter where it was brewed.  And, hate to say this, but Kona does carry an Imperial Vanilla Stout!

From MNB reader Monte Stowell:

I brought out my trusty old Merriam Webster dictionary to look up the definition of the word Vanilla. As a noun, Vanilla is a commercially important extract of the Vanilla bean that is used as a flavoring. As an adjective, plain or ordinary, lacking distinction or flavored with Vanilla.

I like ice cream and I buy the branded ice creams that are pretty darn good here in the Oregon market - Tillamook and Umpqua brands are the two most popular brands. I like their Vanilla, French Vanilla, and Vanilla Bean flavors. Much better taste than Breyers or Dreyers brands of ice cream.

You get what you pay for. If you want ice cream made with real Vanilla, you have to pay the price. Freedom of choice is what makes America great when it comes to ice cream.

I think this is less about freedom of choice than it is about clarity and accuracy of information so that people can actually make informed choices.

MNB reader Aaron Gottschalk wrote about our story concerning big meat companies going into the plant-based meat business:

Where money is being spent, big business goes.

Just look at what has transpired with the Natural Foods Industry over the past 20 years.

And, regarding another story, from MNB reader Lisa Malmarowski:

If readers have never been to Uwajimaya, going there is worth a trip to Seattle, and I love Seattle! It’s one of the few grocery stores (after decades in the is industry) that has never failed to bring me joy. I can’t wait to see the remodel.
KC's View: