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Just a Few Ingredients

November 23, 2010

I swear that this post isn’t solely intended to get a response out of Kristi Gustafson.  But if I don’t hear from her, I’ll be disappointed.  After all, she is an avid fan of Pillsbury crescent rolls.

And really, I don’t want to be the food police.  There are things that I eat that are truly disgusting and vile, but for some reason I love them still.  And there are other things that while I may not love, I will try once or twice to see what all the fuss is about.

Some people like these poppin’ fresh crescent rolls, and that’s fine.  Live and let live.

It’s just that I recently came across one of their ads, and it really rubbed me the wrong way.  Now I will be the first to tell you that I pay more attention to advertising than the average bear.  Having worked in the business, I know how much time and energy is put into each and every second of a spot, and in some cases into each and every frame.

In general, I’m opposed to showing commercial messages, especially for free.  But since I’m going to rip into Pillsbury for this effort, you should at least get the chance to see what got me so worked up.

This was the only version of the ad I could find.  Please pardon the creepy stage mom shots of the kid getting his hair done before the shoot.

So did you see it?  It ran twice. Here is the transcript:

These are the crescents you love on a holiday and these are the ones you’ll love on a Friday. Pillsbury crescent pizza pockets, with just a few ingredients, you have an easy to make dinner. They’re crescents for the other 364. Try them tonight.

Let me give you the transcript from another version of this ad with emphasis added:

These are the crescents you love on a holiday and these are the ones you’ll love on a school night. Pillsbury ham and cheese crescents, with just a few ingredients, you have an easy to make dinner. They’re crescents for the other 364. Try them tonight.

While they do not explicitly say this is a wholesome or nutritious meal, I see a clear implication that these crescents have just a few ingredients.

Anyone curious how many ingredients Pillsbury crescent rolls contain?

Fourteen.  That’s not counting the six ingredients in the flour or the four ingredients in the baking powder.  In case you are curious the list is below.

Enriched Flour Bleached (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Sugar, Baking Powder (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate), Contains 2% or Less of: Dextrose, Vital Wheat Gluten, Salt, DATEM, Potassium Chloride, Xanthan Gum, Yellow 5, Red 40 and Other Color Added.

Each roll has 110 calories, 60 of which come from fat.  Of the 6g of fat per little roll, 2g are Saturated Fat and 1.5g are the dreaded Trans Fat.

But my beloved Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray is made with the equally dreaded High Fructose Corn Syrup, and I drink that on special occasions.  I just bristle at the notion that the phrase “just a few ingredients” can be placed so closely to the word “crescents” and then broadcast to tens if not hundreds of millions of people.

Good work Pillsbury.  Very clever.  But I’m on to you.  Now for the rest of you, get out there and cook something.

I’ll even settle for your simply making a batch of whipped cream with a chilled bowl, real honest cream and a whisk.  If you want to use an electric beater, go ahead.  Just have some extra cream on hand in case you overwhip.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. RealFoodMom permalink
    November 23, 2010 10:55 am

    I just got out my mom’s 1965 edition of The Settlement Cook Book, and here are its ingredients for crescent rolls, in order of decreasing amounts: flour, scalded milk, butter, egg, water, yeast, sugar, salt. Also states that “two large, freshly cooked and riced potatoes may be added before the final addition of flour.” Take that, Pillsbury’s. Eeeew.

  2. Vicki permalink
    November 23, 2010 12:08 pm

    I shudder to think how many uses for Pillsbury crescent rolls Sandra Lee can come up with!!!

  3. November 23, 2010 12:17 pm

    I can’t watch the video at work, but they don’t mean that by adding just a few ingredients like ham and cheese you can make ham and cheese crescents? I’m just reading the transcript but that’s what I get from it, not that they have very few ingredients but that you can add one or two to make something different.

    • ACSKLAD permalink
      November 23, 2010 2:02 pm

      @C has it right – they definitely mean adding just a few ingredients to the Crescents, which they consider 1 ingredient (not the ingredients within the Crescent Rolls). That said, the concerning thing, as Mr. Fussy pointed out partially, is that they infer this can/should be served as a complete meal/dinner. But in an age of Hot Pockets, Frozen Pizzas and other on-the-go foods, I suppose it was only a matter of time before a side dish tried to make a run at full meal products. They have to source volume from somewhere – bleh.

    • November 23, 2010 2:38 pm

      I agree with what C and ACSKLAD said about the use of “just a few ingredients” in the TEXT of the ad.
      Perhaps I should have made this clearer. My ire was raised by the SUBTEXT of the phrase in the ad.

  4. November 23, 2010 1:14 pm

    Is it okay that I think Pepperidge Farm herb seasoning stuffing with the addition of some onion and celery is the best ever?

  5. November 23, 2010 7:04 pm

    If you hate crescent rolls (and creepy moms), then you better STAY AWAY from Pampered Chef parties. Crescent rolls are used in just about every appetizer recipe, and many dessert recipes. All of their recipes are “designed” to get you out of the kitchen faster so you can spend more time with your family. Who you are slowly poisoning.

    I will not mention the nefarious marketing partnership that PC entered into with Pillsbury, nor will I mention that PC is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire-Hathaway.

  6. Stevo permalink
    November 24, 2010 8:32 am

    Processed foods are a real problem everywhere, but especially here in America. Is it any wonder we have the highest obesity rates in the world when our “food” is so highly engineered? I know this is anecdotal, but I never cooked. Everything I ate came out of a box or a can. Then I got religion. I started cooking real food and eating fewer processed foods. I lost 30 lbs. I didn’t eat less, I just ate more real food.

    If the ingredients read like a science project don’t buy it.

  7. November 24, 2010 7:50 pm

    I’m pretty sure you’re punctuating that wrong — I’m pretty sure they mean “Crescent rolls: With just a few ingredients [plus the rolls], you can make a tasty snack.”

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