June 5, 2019

Sweetgreen I’m calling you out: summer didn’t come early. Deliberately confusing ppl about seasonality of veggies is a harmful thing to do

I’m subscribed to Sweetgreen’s email list because they do a lot of great things and it’s part of my job to stay up to date with what is going on. Last week I got an email that said “Summer came early.” This made me roll my eyes. Of course Summer didn’t come early. Sweetgreen, like others in our industry, are actively trying to confuse customers. That corn is not in season in June. The money spent on that corn does nothing to support local agriculture. And everybody who grew up with sweet corn, from New England to New Jersey knows how great corn tastes when it’s fresh picked in season, and how off it tastes out of season.

Sweetgreen is trying to own the excitement of “seasonality” without actually buying ingredients that are in season. It’s really frustrating and harmful. It’s the opposite of supporting local agriculture. Much worse than being a Burger King and saying “we serve food that’s bad for you and you can’t stop eating.”

This morning I got ANOTHER email from Sweetgreen. This one? “Our favorite time of ear 🌽” get it? It’s a veggie pun. And an emoji!

So now I’m not just rolling my eyes. Sweetgreen, I’m calling you out on this stuff. Not the cute pun and emoji. Your active effort to confuse people about seasonality and food. It’s lousy. It’s harmful. It’s successful, you are causing confusion. Someday it will weaken your position of authority. It makes those neon “Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring” signs in your stores feel like a crass deception. And it’s not necessary. You can do better.

*** end of rant ***

Addendum: No joke. Just after I finished this post I saw this arrive in my inbox… Cava — did you feel Sweetgreen was one upping you? (In case the anti-fact propaganda already got to you and it’s not obvious what is wrong: tomatoes are NOT a spring flavor. Tomatoes come at the end of the summer. Which hasn’t come early. See above.)

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