This Shaw's Pizza Box Is Conflicted

Someone in marketing really wanted to show the handmade goodness of Shaw’s house brand pizza, despite the fact that there is no handmade goodness to the product at all. But not to worry! A little fine print takes care of any legal issues, and you’re good to go.

(Thanks to Seth!)


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  1. JoshReflek says:

    This is not a comment saying im never buying anything from Cullinary Circle or Shaw’s.

  2. dieselman8 says:

    what legal issues? better yet, what are your damages?

    • ManiacDan says:

      @dieselman8: The legal issues are false advertising and, in some states, misleading the consumer. It would be like fake cheese with a cow or glass of milk on the package. It leads the customer to believe that you’re selling a dairy product when you’re not.

      • chrisjames says:

        @ManiacDan: It would fall under labeling laws, and Shaw’s is afraid the picture could be considered to officially label the product as handmade, which isn’t a stretch. They could be fined if it was brought up, but I doubt consumers could directly sue for damages over the picture. Maybe in California.

      • shorty63136 says:

        @ManiacDan: Where do you think Borden would fall if that was the case? They do have that cute little cartoon cow on their “pasteurized cheese product” package.

        Or is that close enough to dairy that it’s ok?

      • dieselman8 says:

        I don’t think we’re dealing with fake cheese vs real cheese. Sure, I could see the problem with that. But here, we’re dealing with hand kneaded vs machine kneaded.

        If you were to file a complaint, what would your damages be?

      • @ManiacDan: But are you misleading the customer? IIRC in advertisements, only the food has to be real. Anything else in the photo is ancillary. If you are advertising corn flakes, the “milk” that they are in doesn’t have to be milk. If you are advertising Jell-O, and there is ice cream in the add, it’s more than likely Crisco w/food coloring. Could I sue board games b/c I never had so much fun as the people in the picture? If they showed this pizza coming out of a brick oven, does that mean it’s false advertising since I don’t have a brick oven or a peel?

        • JoshReflek says:

          @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy–>:
          The point here is that it shows a pair of hands doing a step of the product’s preparation, yet the text indicates the picture is completely false and not part of the process at all.
          It misleads the consumer into thinking “this is the technique used to prepare this food”
          What you fail to grasp is the definition of ancillary and how it relates to customers reasonable expectations.

    • erratapage says:

      @dieselman8: Damages are the cost of the pizza. More likely, the consumer bringing such a suit would get some statutory award of damages, maybe even attorney fees.

  3. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    If they’re going to put unrelated pictures on a box I’d rather they be lolcats.

  4. MrBiggles says:

    I’d rather know that its been kneaded by the clean blades of some industrial machine than someone’s dirt paws. who knows where those gloveless hands have been.

  5. zentex says:

    I have to wonder, how is this marketing any different than Snake-Oil with an asterisk?

    Some of the ones I’ve seen on TV/intertubes:

    * This product has not been tested for safety.

    * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

    * This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

    Yet they all market as being Safe, Doctor** Recommended, and for Relief, Treatment, etc of/for whatever


    ** Perhaps by that Doctor that bought his PhD online from that friendly fellow in Nigeria?

    • RandomHookup says:

      @zentex: My favorites are the ones with asterisks but no footnotes to explain:

      May be deadly when used with certain prescription medicines.*

  6. I thought some little old lady was hunched over in a kitchen kneading the dough for all those pizzas. Hmph.

    I saw these at the local Farm Fresh the other day. I guess I’d more more concerned with are they any good?

  7. BumpinUgglas says:

    Personally I’m really enjoying the new Disney ad for Sleeping Beauty that says “NEVER BEFORE IN THEATRES”*

    *with exception of 2008 theatrical release

  8. MauraGrowf says:

    I can has cheezpizza?

  9. mbz32190 says:

    Well…at least they are honest, although they could have used a different image (minus the hands) and wouldn’t need the silly disclaimer.
    But really, is there any frozen food in a box that is HOMEMADE?

  10. redandjonny says:

    I was imagining sweat shops in India and China where 1000’s of children are chained to their work stations 14 hours a day making hand made frozen Pizza.

  11. downwithmonstercable says:

    At least they’re up front with it. That text is usually microscopic, hidden in some sort of code on the inside tab written backwards. Kind of like the expiration date in a lot of cases :P

  12. firstxv says:

    For me, the classic asterisk is on young children’s pajamas: “Not for use as sleepwear.” Footnotes, don’t fail me now!

  13. LetMeGetTheManager says:

    Less chance of getting a fingernail, Band-Aid, or worse additional ‘toppings’ on your pizza…

  14. ValentineHumphrey says:

    This isn’t saying much for me, but I work part time at ACME (supermarket in PA, owned by Supervalue, which apparently owns Shaws too). Culinary Circle is our “gourmet” brand products.

    I never notice packaging THAT much – The hands don’t bother me (never noticed them anyways), the packaging is sleek and clean compared to the other red/blue/green combos that others use – this one is cream colored.

    My brother loves the pizza, says it reminds him of DiGiorno by Kraft, only Culinary Circle Pizza is better in his mind, and cheaper at only $5.29 a box (not on sale).

    I’m indifferent…. I try not to eat frozen pizza – I get the fresh stuff! :-)

  15. Ajh says:

    I’m sure there are actual people in the factories. They press the buttons and keep the machine from getting clogged up.

  16. Ness says:

    I had a bag of banana chips one time that said,

    * Warning, may contain bananas.


  17. springboks says:

    They could’ve really picked better looking hands. Then again they could’ve gone with a diversity shot African American hands or something.

  18. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    I think those hand should have gloves on, I’m a little grossed out.

  19. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    It seems to me that Culinary Circle has come out of nowhere and saturated my local grocery store. About a month ago, Jewel (Albertson’s) in Chicago has been pushing Culinary Circle products like crazy. They now use 2-4 pages of every ad on their products… Seems a little strange.

  20. MiltonHyena says:

    Culinary Circle products are awesome, and it’s cheaper than eating out. The thin crust pizza margherita pizza is my favorite. Or maybe it is the artichoke jalepeno dip? Tsao chicken? I haven’t tried everything yet, but I haven’t had one I didn’t like.
    Culinary Circle is ONLY available at supermarkets owned by SuperValu (MN).

  21. UnicornMaster says:

    Are the Freschetta Brick Oven pizzas actually fired in brick ovens? I think somebody owes me $6. I will have to say though, I don’t actually expect it from a frozen pizza.

  22. radiochief says:

    I starting eating the CC frozen pizzas a few weeks back. When I picked one up for the first time, I noticed the discepancy.

    But they taste pretty damn good.

    The reason why Culinary Circle products have popped up is because Albertson’s/Shaw’s got rid of the Essentia ‘gourmet’ line of foods.

  23. GodivaNimple says:

    I worked at Pizza Hut in high school. Their “hand tossed” pizza crust is anything but. It is a frozen, manufactured perfect circle of dough that is defrosted and stretched out onto an oiled pan. There is no “hand tossing” anywhere in the process of making said pizzas. Prior to working there, I had the idea that their “hand-tossed crust” was freshly-made dough that was tossed into the air by skilled pizza maker.