ConAgra is apologizing after getting unexpected backlash after it invited food bloggers to what they thought was a meal prepared by celebrity chef George Duran, host of “Ultimate Cake Off” on TLC. After they had eaten, it was revealed that they’d actually been served food that came from the frozen section of the supermarket, Marie Callender’s Three Meat and Four Cheese Lasagna, and Razzleberry Pie. And hidden cameras were rolling the whole time.
NYT reports that some of the bloggers, rather than being tickled by the reveal at the end, were totally pissed.
“Our entire meal was a SHAM!” blogged Mom Confessionals afterwards “We discussed with the group the sad state of chemical-filled foods,” blogged FoodMayhem.com. “And yet, you still fed me the exact thing I said I did not want to eat.”
Chubby Chinese Girl blogged how that during the discussion before the meal, she she “pointed out that the reason I ate organic, fresh and good food was because my calories are very precious to me, so I want to use them wisely.”
“I’m NOT their target consumer and they were totally off by thinking I would buy or promote their highly processed frozen foods after tricking me to taste it,” she added.
“It was never our intention to put any bloggers or their guests in an uncomfortable position and for that we are sorry,” said a ConAgra spokesperson. She noted that most people had fun and in a survey, 62.5% of those who attended indicated having a favorable impression of Marie Callender’s. The company said they had scrapped plans to use the hidden camera footage in an upcoming marketing campaign.