A Slate headline How Annie’s Homegrown Triumphed by Recasting “Selling Out” as “Buying In” really got my goat — cute but misleading. While overall it is a great read about a successful woman entrepreneur.
Here’s my grass-fed beef:
- Annie’s has not sold out. Even if Annie‘s used the phrase “selling out” when raising its capital through the direct public offering, it implies that Annie’s did “sell out” from their promise rather than increasing their scholarships and other charitable activities. Or that they sold to a major conglomerate. All companies should “sell out” so by being successful through clever tactics while sticking to a triple bottom line mission.
- Was making a mainstream yet mac and cheese product selling out? Maybe at the time getting big was considered joining “the man,” but the company did not start as a homegrown farmers market operation. Doesn’t seem so wrong to bring the masses a natural alternative (some organic) to people wanting an instant mac and cheese.
- “Annie’s is booming because it’s selling ethics,” the article concludes. No, it’s selling convenient and good foods people want to eat that happen to be ethical.
I know outrageous headlines are all the rage (gotta get the click throughs) but it would be nice to see a positive, more accurate slant on such an unlikely success story.