RE: Chief Lobbyist for the “National Frozen Pizza Institute”
Because of recent action by the FDA, it is critical we address the health and safety concerns Congress and others may have regarding the products we disperse to customers. The FDA is currently considering a regulation that would require a warning label on foods it considers “high fat” which may impact sales of frozen pizza and related products in a negative manner.
It is critical we address this or we may need to deal with rapidly declining interest in our products. The plan of action I suggest is as follows. First, I recommend trying to prevent the warning label rule on foods to be passed. If this bill passes, then the National Frozen Pizza Institute will want to make labeling sound favorable to our company. How can we do that? First, we can encourage Congress to consider the benefits of eating convenient, diverse and healthy fast-food products. While national frozen does offer products that are high in fat, this fat is associated primarily with natural products including the cheese that most pizzas contain. National Frozen Pizza should argue that cheese despite its high fat content, also offers many benefits, including calcium, which helps build strong bones. If customers buy pizzas with vegetables, they will also be getting many vitamins and minerals by eating our foods instead of packaged hamburgers and fries that contain only saturated fats with no health benefits.
Frozen pizza products also are fortified with extra vitamins and minerals. If the FDA insists on labeling, then they should label in a manner that tells customers it is important to eat a well-balanced diet; then National Frozen Pizza has an obligation to add extra labeling to the front of its boxes showing how their products can be incorporated into a healthy diet. All foods in moderation should be considered as part of the marketing message or logo sent out by National Pizza. The FDA should be more concerned with labeling supplements than food products. Anyone on a healthy diet would read labels anyway and figure out for themselves what foods are good and what foods they should eat in moderation. National Pizza’s next step is to coalition with many diet agencies (Berry, 1999), offering a lower fat version of the product that can be incorporated into many popular diet programs especially those using points systems like Weight Watchers. Customers can eat the lower fat pizza with no affect on sales; in fact sales may increase. This coalition may result in more sales because the diet agencies would promote National Pizza’s products in exchange for some recognition of their contribution or a small percentage of the profits from the lower-fat pizza sales.
National Pizza’s next step is to get the people that eat their products interested in rallying against FDA labeling (Berry, 1999). As the President is a democrat, he is more likely to take a liberal approach. He is probably also more likely to care about what the people think of him. If National Pizza can get enough customers to sign petitions stating they are happy with the products they eat especially fast and convenient food products like the one’s National Pizza offers, then the President may be less likely to push forward a bill that would introduce additional labeling. Such a bill will be more costly for everyone involved, so the Republicans may also prefer the bill not be passed because they will want to save money. If they are also presented with petitions from consumers, they are likely to back off or fail to support measures taken by the FDA to promote labeling of high fat products. National Pizza must also realize that roughly 15% of economic activity (Ramsay 4) flows through the health sector, so the economic “stakes” of any policy that is changed or altered may be quite high (Ramsay 1995). The Republicans are not likely to enforce a bill that may have grave economic consequences on the economy. National Pizza can use this information to its benefit, by letting Congressman know through lobbying efforts just how detrimental to the economy labeling of food products as “high fat” may be.
National Pizza should then embark on an advertising campaign that promotes their products as part of a health diet that includes all foods in moderation. This will help people that are on the fence about buying the product after labeling, should this happen, make the decision to buy the products offered by national pizza anyway. There are many high fat products that are not labeled, but incorporated into healthy diets. Examples of these include avocados, nuts and nut butters. The key to National Pizza’s success will be our ability to convince consumers and the government that labeling of products with high fat is no more effective for helping people control their weight and eating habits than is labeling fruits and vegetables. People are just as likely to become overweight by eating foods that are labeled “low fat” or “sugar free.” In fact, many people recognize their own tendency to eat more if a fob is labeled low fat. Rather than have people eat too little because a food may be labeled “high fat” despite any health benefits it may have, the FDA should spend its time educating consumers. Congress should promote bills that will encourage customers to become better educated about the foods they eat. They will make more money convincing people to buy organic products and fast food in moderation than they will simply labeling foods “high-fat” because such labels are not a true deterrent. People will always buy what is convenient for them.
The motion to promote labeling of high fat products is not an efficient tool for monitoring consumer’s purchases or health. Citizens are more likely now than ever before to challenge labeling (Danaher & Mark 2003) and other bills or rules initiated by the FDA, because they want choices. If National Pizza remembers this in its marketing and lobbying campaigns it will become a winning player.
Berry, Jeffrey M. The New Liberalism, the Rising Power of Citizen Groups. New York:
Brookings Institution, 1999.
Danaher, Kevin and Mark, John. Insurrection: Citizen Challenge to Corporate Power.
New York: Routledge, 2003.
Ramsay, Craig. U.S. Health Policy Groups: Institutional Profiles, Westport: Greenwood
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