retail news in context, analysis with attitude

USA Today reports this morning that as yet more evidence that sea salt is the ingredient of the moment, Wendy’s this week “ will unveil Natural-Cut Sea Salt Fries — revamped french fries of 100% russet potatoes, cut with the skin on, sprinkled with sea salt ... Wendy's, which continues to lose share to McDonald's, is in the midst of a companywide move to stress the wholesomeness of its food. It opted to fix the fries by using better potatoes cut a new way — and sprinkled with sea salt.”

The story goes on, “The move comes as sea salt has set consumer hearts aflutter and invaded American pantries. In 2010, 1,350 new products with sea salt as an ingredient have been introduced, research giant Mintel says. The percentage of all foods and beverages with sea salt jumped from 5% in 2006 to more than 8% in 2010, Mintel says.”

Inevitably, there are naysayers: “Nutritionist Marion Nestle is unimpressed, saying sea salt tastes the same as common table salt, costs more and has the same sodium. ‘The hype for sea salt is amazing. What a hoax’.”
KC's View:
I love Marion Nestle. I’ve met her, I think she’s really interesting, and she plays a critically important function, drawing attention to things that some folks would rather not see put under the spotlight.

But man, she’s a buzz kill.