June 23, 2014

The Taste New England Loves, (No Homophone)

Vermont Maid Syrup, The Taste New England Loves is made in neither Vermont nor New England...

...it's made in Parsippany, NJ. 

Vermont Maid is owned by B&G Foods, which also happens to own Maple Grove Farms of Vermont. Maple Grove Farms of Vermont makes salad dressing, pancake and waffle mixes, candy, and of course, syrup. While they actually do have facilities located in Vermont, they curiously shorten their name to just Maple Grove Farms on the labels of all their syrup products. 

After B&G acquired Maple Grove Farms of Vermont, they pulled the classic Corporate move--saving money by changing the recipe. They started manufacturing their syrup products with syrups from outside of Vermont. Then, the state of Vermont, which has some very strict labeling laws when it comes to syrup, fined them for continuing to represent themselves as Vermont syrup. For B&G, this was a sticky situation and a pun that was so intended, it hurts my teeth. They decided to drop the "Vermont" part of Maple Grove Farms of Vermont on their syrup labels. And rather than just call it Maple Grove Farms of, they dropped the "of" part for no extra charge.

So how does B&G get away with Vermont Maid syrup being from my great state of New Jersey? I'm just going to assume that it's all in the spelling. As it stands, Vermont Maid labeling merely implies that their product is enjoyed by New Englanders, some of whom may actually be Vermont residents, and that their syrup is created by crushing female housekeepers with large mechanical presses until they drip enough high fructose corn syrup into the plastic bottle. The fine print does not explain whether the maids used in the process are born in Vermont, conceived in Vermont, reside in Vermont, or simply work in Vermont on a full-time or part-time basis. This is a gray area that the state of Vermont has yet to rule on, so B&G Inc is able to exploit the loop hole for the time being. To assume that Vermont Maid is actually Vermont Made would be an unfortunate mistake.

B&G also has products under the name Old London and New York Style. New York Style's new logo is a giant bold NEW YORK with a tiny STYLE beneath it. You know, because they don't want to confuse people into just reading the part of their name that exploits a city they aren't in.