Your Recession Bread

The rapidly escalating cost of commodity goods like wheat, corn, soybeans, eggs—you name it—has driven food companies to reformulate their standard recipes (subscription required). That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports that Sara Lee is using cheaper wheat in some breads and—well, there’s this small, mildly spiced tragedy: “General Mills Inc. has reduced the number of Hamburger Helper varieties to about 40 from 75 and has cut the number of pasta shapes in the product across the board.”

Do not cry, dear Grinder reader! You still have 40 Hamburger Helper varieties to comfort you! Also, the CEO of Campbell’s says the company is simplifying its recipes and moving away from its “artisanal approach to soup design, with different ingredients for each.” Different ingredients for each soup: That’s artisanal for you.

Prices are generally expected to go up, too, but the successful companies are pivoting away from the problem: They’re introducing new premium-priced products, of course. Campbell’s, for example, is marketing new “Pace salsas in such flavors as tequila lime and triple pepper in gourmet-looking glass bottles.” Wow, honest-to-goodness glass bottles: I’m already impressed.

See more articles
Share this article: