Friday, October 30, 2009

you've got to be fa-reekin kidding me, kraft

4 or 5 years ago I signed up for this free magazine (wait, did I sign up or was it just sent to me unsolicited? I can't remember). Anyway, I usually read it and sometimes I clip a recipe. I should say here that this magazine's definition of a "recipe" is very liberal indeed. A recipe in Food and Family can be a complex as the 5 ingredient "Chicken Pot Pie" or as simple (and frankly silly) as "Macaroni and Cheese Dinner" (the recipe is the directions right off the box). All of the recipes are full of Kraft brand ingredients (of course, no surprise there) and there are lots of ads for Kraft. Basically, it's the Vogue of cooking magazines: mostly ads and then a little content. The current issue even has one recipe (a caramel-topped cheesecake) appearing twice. (A fetching picture of Katie Brown posed with mixing bowl in hand also appears three times, if I'm not mistaken.)

So it is a primarily ad-driven publication and I'm fine with that. It's RIDICULOUS, though, to ask me to pay $7 a year to subscribe to this magazine. I wonder if people who visit the website and pay for the subscription will be disappointed in the content.

It kind of reminds me of "Video News Releases" that so often appear in local news broadcasts. Although it is somewhat entertaining to try and spot them ("Up next... a new diet pill that has everyone talking!"), the blurring of true content and advertising is irritating and troubling to me.

I realize that a food magazine littered with promotions and advertisements is hardly the most pressing issue of our time. I'll think hard about global warming as I whip up a quick batch of "BLT Ranch Hot Dogs."


Patty O. said...

Wait. They're CHARGING for that magazine now? You are kidding! I used to get that one all the time and then they stopped coming, which ended up being fine with me. So much of what they listed as ingredients are foods I don't typically buy. And there's something just a little insulting about a cake recipe where it says something like, "Prepare cake mix as directed and add chocolate chips to batter. Frost with cool whip."

I did find an occasional recipe that had some merit, but I can't imagine paying for one or two decent recipes an issue. Wonder how long that mag will last.

pianogal said...

I think I used to get this magazine too and wondered why it stopped coming (though I guess I didn't miss it that much because I didn't realize it wasn't coming until I read your post). You've solved the mystery for me! If I knew people might pay for recipes like "prepare macaroni and cheese according to package directions and add cubed ham; heat through and serve" then dh could quit the job search.

Bil said...

Sounds like some imbecile new exec is trying to bring in a new revenue stream with absolutely no idea how unrealistic it is. Like Scouting popcorn-- what amounts to what you could get out of three bags of microwave fare popcorn, you could have delivered in an unattractive tin for $14. Put the Fun in Fundraiser.