Published on: May 28, 2014
by Kate McMahon
Sorry, pal. Your saucy significant other is stepping out on you, and announced the end of your long-term exclusive relationship on Facebook. And immediately started flirting with the competition.
Yes, after almost 50 years, A.1. Steak Sauce is dropping Steak from its label and “friending” all sorts of foods – from chicken to lobster to corn on the cob, and even healthier fare such as quinoa and tofu.
The new name is A.1. Original Sauce, and the recently launched rebranding campaign touts it as good “For Almost Everything. Almost.”
The change is reflective of the nation’s evolving tastes – less red meat, more chicken, fish and vegetables – and the American consumer’s saucing habits.
A.1. Sauce was created in the 1820s by the chef of King George IV. Ironically, when commercially produced in 1831, A.1. was marketed as a versatile “saucy sauce different from any other, appreciated on Welsh rarebits, broiled lobster and English mutton chops.” (Sounds like a "Downton Abbey" dinner to me.) But in the 1960s, when a big slab of steak was viewed as the ultimate main course, it was renamed A.1. Steak Sauce.
With red meat consumption on the decline, and sales stagnant, the Kraft-owned brand surveyed its heaviest users and found they were dousing A.1. on chicken, pork, shrimp, French fries and vegetables.
Beyond the name change, A.1. has done a masterful job utilizing Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest to engage its fan base, prompting the Mashable.com site to run this headline: “A.1. Steak Sauce’s Social Life Is More Interesting Than Yours.”
A very witty clip entitled “A.1. Sauce: New Friend Requests” shows the emotional steak breakup and evolving relationships played out on Facebook, and has snagged almost 95,000 views on YouTube and positive buzz in new and mainstream media.
When Facebook fans were asked to share their fave (and even weird) combos, the A.1. social media team had fun with the responses.
One enthusiast said she used A.1. in “Bloody Marys, salad, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, mix with sour cream or Greek yogurt over beef and noodles, on ramen, on stewed tomatoes and spaghetti squash. Just to name a few.” The A.1. team replied: “Casandra, you’ve always been ahead of the saucing curve.”
To the fan who wrote “I put it on peas” the A.1. team responded “We applaud your uncompromised pursuit of what you love.”
Will the rebranding move boost A.1. sales? To be determined, but it has certainly sparked interest. Two members of my family go for A.1. on grilled swordfish as well as steak and lamb, so I am considering sampling several of the online suggestions. A.1. on mashed potatoes and tacos, yes.
But I have to draw the line at tofu.
We Have A Winner…
Congratulations to MNB reader John LeTourneux of Kroger Co., winner of our Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe contest. His recipe for Ambrosia Grilled Cheese is swoon-worthy, and won first prize – a Panini maker., which we will be sending to him shortly.
Here’s his recipe, followed by our honorable mentions.
Ambrosia Grilled Cheese Sandwich (see a picture of this delicious concoction above):
It starts with homemade basil infused and pepper jack spiked fresh baked bread.
Butter the outsides and place a generous slice of smoked Gouda inside one slice and a generous slice of sharp cheddar on the other.
Cut a healthy slice of home-cured applewood smoked bacon. Fry the bacon to perfection and lay two half slices side-by-side on whichever cheese is your favorite.
Now the fun begins…
Gently crack an egg in barely simmering water. Poach until the egg yolk is slightly runny (that makes it not as messy eating this bad boy).
While the egg is cooking, grill the sandwich halves open-faced, butter side down, until the toastiness is to your liking.
Gently rest the egg on the bacon side of your creation. Close it up and travel on the highway to heaven.
Honorable mentions to the following MNB readers, and the special ingredients that made their grilled cheese a standout…
• Paige Grunnagle (Sourdough bread, Havarti, fresh basil leaves, tomato, prosciutto and a drizzle of honey).
• Richard Lowe (toasted triple-decker with tuna fish salad).
• Jim DeLuca (pickled ginger and mutard violetta).
• Matt Gandolfo (smoked paprika, dry mustard and ground white pepper).
• Lynn Shovan (smoked Gouda, dill havarti and provolone with pesto and tomato).
• Jenny Heflin (crusty Italian bread from grocery deli, cheddar, havarti, bacon and tomato).
Thanks to all the MNB readers who submitted recipes….Happy Eating!
Comments? As always, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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