I love going to factories. Putting on the hard hat and lab coat and seeing where the magic happens. It makes me feel like Willy Wonka. Massive humming machines. Thousands of containers whizzing by on conveyer belts. Ice cream plants are particularly cool.
But, the inner workings of a plant always seem like a stark contrast from the persona put across on the label. Particularly if the brand has any kind of provenance. Ingredients just don’t look as premium when you see them in jumbo totes. The "family recipe" doesn’t seem so homey when it’s being blended by a guy wearing a beard net.
A few years ago, I helped plan a Food Network special with Haagen-Dazs, and it was a real challenge finding a way to film in the plant that kept the premium cache.
Anyway, I was listening to a talk by Malcolm Gladwell on TED (I’m totally addicted to the TED talks, btw), and he was tellilng the story of spaghetti sauce in the US. Actually a pretty riveting story. At one stage, he talked of one brand connoting the old-world values even though it was really being made in a plant in New Jersey.
It reminded me of that whole contrast, and made me think it would be funny if a label told the "real" story, from the vantage point of the producer. Instead of an old-world grandmother stirring a saucepot, a guy in a beard net.