Sweets, the new beautiful

Confectionery industry should take a new approach to critics

Bernie Pacyniak

Guess who was wrapped up in all that Olympics madness? Yours truly. Yes, I confess, there were plenty of times I stole away from e-mails, editing copy, researching news stories and just consuming confections to check out how Team USA was performing. But honest, boss, my productivity didn’t go down as much as the media suggested.

There was plenty of emotion, drama and competitiveness to go around. OK, so it wasn’t as intense as the Olympics  during the Cold War period, or that unforgettable “Miracle on Ice” win by the U.S. amateur hockey team against the professional Red Machine.

But heck, boring it wasn’t. From Phelps stocking up on gold to the women’s soccer team punching in a last second goal to advance to the ultimate revenge match against Japan , from decathlete champion Aston Eaton showing who’s the world’s greatest to the USA men’s basketball team, good stuff all the way around. And yes, Dee (our thoroughly British European marketing manager), the Brits did well. Cheerio!

During the course of the Olympics coverage, after working hours, of course, I happened to hear one of NBC’s reporters mention that “Strong was the new beautiful.”

The tagline, which also graces a Nike T-shirt slogan, coincided with a story on how the Fab Five gymnasts, with their very athletic bodies, had revved up interest in girl’s gymnastics to a fever pitch.

The reporter also referred to the fact that there were more women than men representing the United States in the Olympics.  Indeed, the only U.S. boxers to get a medal in the Olympics were women. (Geez guys, time to buck up!).

That said, I thought it might be time for the confectionery industry to take advantage of this post-Olympic medal glow and get into some inspirational messaging. Granted, the slogan, “Sweets, the new beautiful,” may need some work.

Hold on now, I can hear some smirking in the background. Hey, watch it, because I do know where you all live.

Now hear me out. Essentially, the sound bite, “Strong, the new beautiful” deals as much with enhancing self-esteem as with encouraging physical activity.

Hence, “Sweets, the new beautiful” is as much about promoting self-esteem as it is about encouraging enlightened consumption.

Hold on, let me explain. Everyone understands the comfort and reward characteristics associated with eating confections, be it chocolate or chewy candies, peppermints or salted caramels, licorice or lollipops.

The new slogan affirms the fact that it is perfectly normal to treat oneself. And, as we all know, the first step to any kind of self-improvement, be it self-realization or a healthier body, is loving one self. What better way to send out a message of self-love than treating yourself with a sweet or savory confection?

I realize this promotional slogan might be a bit radical for many of you out there. Staying under the radar has been the confectionery industry’s modus operandi for the past several years. Look at the mess Chick-Fil-A’s  Dan Cathy got into by speaking out,  you argue.  Of course, seems he’s selling a lot more chicken sandwiches today than ever.

Could be it’s time the confectionery industry go on the offensive. After all, all of us Baby Boomers weren’t obese as children, but we ate candy. So I think it’s time for a shot across the good ship Lollipop’s bow. 

Granted, my play on words may not appeal to all. But hey, savor it, like a good piece of chocolate. After all, this industry has plenty of inner beauty to share.  

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