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Don’t Say ‘Meat’; Say ‘Protein’

taco-070113Is the very notion of “meat” becoming so icky that food companies are getting worried about saying the very word itself?

According to Businessweek, Taco Bell is among the companies that are trying out the idea of replacing “meat” with “protein” on some of their menus.

This follows what the big data company Infegy discovered when it monitored conversations on blogs and social media over a six-month period. When they crunched the data, they found that 43 percent of conversations about “meat” were negative and often included such words as “bad, “concerns,” and “problem. But only six percent of conversations about “protein” were negative, and most people apparently associate “protein” with “good,” “healthy,” and “delicious.”

Hardly surprising when you think about what we’ve learned over the last year about “pink slime” in our hamburger and horse meat in packages we thought were beef.

Big data, incidentally, is what we’ve all been hearing about in terms of how the government is monitoring what we say on the phone and what we read and write online. But its biggest use is in the commercial arena – to see how best to pitch products to us.

Taco Bell’s new “healthy” menu is called “Fresco Power“, and its Fresco Power Burrito comes with 20 grams of “protein”, a.k.a. chicken or steak.

According to Businessweek:

Taco Bell hopes the menu will appeal to both men and women (unlike the Taco Bell Fresco menu, which has done better with women). Infegy says that so far, more women are talking about “Power Protein.” The menu is part of Taco Bell’s recent commitment to making a healthier menu by 2020.

So don’t worry: they don’t care if you’re a terrorist; they just want to know how to sell you more garbage.