Is the Paula Deen brand in trouble?

January 19, 2012 2:21 pm

Is the Paula Deen brand in trouble?  I don’t think so.

She’s like a loveable, bubbly fairy godmother with a southern accent, who cooks killer comfort food. Now Paula Deen has come clean; she has diabetes. And on the heels of this news, we learn that she has also become the face of the diabetes drug-maker Novo Nordisk. Is the Paula Deen brand in trouble? Not for the long haul, I don’t think. Do people really believe that Paula Deen eats the stuff she makes every day, with 2-stick-minimums on the butter and doughnut-for-bread substitutions? Paula Deen’s brand persona is one of celebration, a celebration of food and family. Her recipes – in my opinion – are not the everyday variety, but rather the special occasion variety. And isn’t that what special occasions are for? To do a little splurging, a little overdoing of what we normally would do. So now she’s bringing her persona to the pharmaceutical world. Some would say she is playing both sides of the fence (having her cake and eating it too). As long as she stays true to the celebratory roots of her brand, I think she’ll do fine. Further, she will show current and new audiences a whole new – probably a slightly more serious and introspective – side of Paula Deen. Should she reign in on her over-the-top gut busting approach to southern cuisine? A little, perhaps. An injection of “healthy options and alternatives” would bring the right dose of responsibility and shut the health freak pundits up. But to swing the pendulum too far in the ultra-healthy direction just wouldn’t be, well, Paula Deen.

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