Good Food Blog
What's in a name?Posted at 12:02PM, 05 May 2009 by Carol Wilson - Food writer
Would you buy a food that tasted great but had an unappealing name? If the name is changed to something more attractive, will it make the food taste better or increase sales?
A leading supermarket seems to think so, as it's decided to rename pollock with its French name of colin (pronounced coll-an) in an attempt to make this sustainable fish more pleasing to British shoppers. Personally I have no problem with the name pollock (also spelt pollack) or its previous names of coley or saithe.
Prior to the renaming of pollock, another supermarket obtained permission from Trading Standards to rename another sustainable fish. The flatfish witch is now called 'Torbay sole' after one of the areas where it is caught, because its original name was believed to be off-putting to customers. Likewise in Cornwall, the humble tinned pilchard has been renamed the Cornish sardine by the local industry in an effort to rejuvenate sales - a move which has been very successful.
Some confused consumers thought the bright orange fruit was named after the girl's name, Sharon
It's not just fish that have been re-christened. Persimmons were renamed Sharon fruit because the new name was thought to be more attractive and because they're grown in the Sharon Valley in Israel. Unfortunately this was lost on some confused consumers who thought the bright orange fruit was named after the girl's name, Sharon.
Would people still have enjoyed these foods with their original names? If the new names encourage more people to try them, then why not?
Branded sweets seem to be the most renamed food items in a move towards 'global branding' which the companies say cut costs, as the name is recognised all over the world, reducing advertising expenditure. Dime chocolate bars are now called Daim; Treets (remember 'melt in your mouth, not in your hand'?), chocolate-covered roasted peanuts encased in a hard candy shell, were renamed M&Ms and Snickers bars were originally sold under the name Marathon in the UK.
But renaming isn't always a success. Opal Fruits, those brightly coloured fruit-flavoured chewy sweets were renamed Starburst - an unpopular move which led to a UK campaign to reinstate the original name. Opal Fruits did return as a limited edition for a few weeks last year and duly flew off the shelves. Wispa became Dairy Milk Bubbly for a short time, but has now returned, due to a huge campaign by internet social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace to get the much loved bar reinstated - and sales are flourishing.
Do you think we should keep familiar British names or is global branding more universally appealing?