Foster Farms believes that consumers should know the real deal when buying chicken. To protect the chicken fanatic consumers including myself, Foster Farms is engaged in a campaign against plumping.
Say no to “plumping,” an admittedly made-up term that describes the “all-too real practice of injecting salt water, chicken stock or seaweed extract or some combination thereof into chicken, to increase weight and price, while simultaneously increasing sodium content by up to 700.”
Regardless of the fact that consumers these days are paying more attention to what they eat and how the food is prepared, producers ignored the fact and have been injected chickens with saltwater solutions to help make them taste juicier.
Foster Farms’ “say no to plumping” campaign takes the battle to a new level.
With its new campaign, Foster Farms hopes to distinguish itself from rivals Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride and alert consumers to the fine print on chickens labeled all natural. (Foster Farms is not the only company that sells chicken without saltwater injections, so the campaign could benefit other producers as well.) The USDA permits producer to label enhanced chickens “natural,” reasoning that saltwater is a natural product even though it’s not naturally found in chicken.
Foster Farms also collected more than 50,000 signatures from consumers as part of a petition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ban the word “natural” from poultry containing saltwater or preservatives.
While the bulk of its efforts have been in TV and PR, Foster Farms is now turning to social media as a way to make marketing dollars work harder while building a robust base of online brand devotees. The sweepstakes, for example, is a very costeffective way to bring some people to a Facebook home page and draw more attention to the consumers.
Its campaign highlighting the injection of saltwater in chickens has resulted in media coverage in The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, an uptick in sales and proposed regulations governing the use of the term “natural” on chicken products.
It seems obvious that adding saltwater to chicken may make it easier to cook, but none of us needs extra sodium in our diets. And we certainly don’t need to pay more for it.