failure to communicate

Young Americans Are Dubious About This Paul Newman Guy’s Food Bona Fides

Granted, these costumes do make things tricky.

Baby Boomers must really despair for their nation: Not only do young people these days avoid Big Macs like the plague, they apparently have no respect for Cool Hand Luke, either. Market research shows lots of millennials aren’t impressed by this Paul Newman character, and according to the Times, that’s understandably become a problem for Newman’s Own, the food brand started by the actor .

Since it was co-founded by Newman in 1982, the company has slapped the actor’s grinning face — one of the most awarded in the history of film — on labels to sell pretty mediocre salad dressings, cookies, microwavable popcorn, and other products, all the profits from which famously go to charity. Problem is, kids nowadays not only don’t know who this Newman person is (a … really photogenic chef?), but they’re also clueless about the charity work Newman’s Own does, something brand execs think should be winning millennials over to their products. “They only see Paul’s face” on products, VP of marketing Bruce Bruemmer complains to the Times, rather than the phrase “All Profits to Charity,” which technically appears on every label. But it’d be heresy to dump the Newman name, so the company is keeping it (and his toothy grin on the label), and instead trying a backup plan:

Newman’s Own is … rewording and repositioning the “All Profits to Charity” banner that typically frames Mr. Newman’s face. The new label, which is expected to start appearing in stores in December, will be more prominently located on the products. The wording has also changed to “100 Percent to Charity,” which Newman’s Own feels is a slight but significant clarification to consumers.

“It’s definitive,” Mr. Bruemmer said. “It’s unambiguous.”

As it happens, unambiguous is a real step up from the current situation: About 12 percent of millennials say they’re aware Newman’s Own gives away its profits. In other words, Newman might as well be the Hamburger Helper, Nesquik Bunny, Jolly Green Giant, or any other made-up mascot on the outdated products their moms used to buy.

Millennials Are Dubious of Paul Newman’s Food Bona Fides