Here’s a company that might just be taking their honest, family-oriented branding a little too far: The “Our Story” section on this family-owned vegan snack company’s chip bags includes an anecdote about a fatal hit-and-run they did in 1998.
This particular factoid really doesn’t seem like something they needed to include.
The “Our Story” section on the backs of bags of Redmond Family flaxseed crisps starts normally enough, with a smiling photo of the Redmonds and a description of how when their daughter was diagnosed with Celiac and their son went vegan, they committed themselves to developing delicious snack foods that the whole family could enjoy together. But the paragraph quickly takes a turn as they begin to describe the sunny July day when they were driving down a country road in their minivan and “heard a noise that none of them would ever forget.” It goes on to describe the moment the family realized they had hit a biker, quickly hopped out of the car to check on him, and ultimately decided to speed off—his dying moans fading into the distance as they drove on toward “a new era of snack foods.”
Wow. It’s not clear why the Redmonds thought it was a good idea to publicize that story at all, let alone right on their product’s packaging.
The rest of the “Our Story” section on the Redmonds bag focuses primarily on their commitment to working with local farmers to source their ingredients, but dips back into the hit-and-run story every so often with descriptions of the man’s mangled body lying on the side of the road and speculations as to who he was and whether his family ever found him. They don’t really connect the accident to the rest of the information about their company except to say that “our unbearable guilt over what we did won’t stop us from bringing you the crunchiest, tastiest chips that you can snack on without worrying about dietary restrictions or allergies.”
After spending a few additional sentences talking about how their youngest daughter still wakes up screaming from nightmares about the man they hit with their minivan, the Redmonds conclude the “Our Story” section with a pretty cute picture of their dog, who they jokingly call their “Vice President Of Taste Testing.” Honestly, it probably would have been better if they had just focused exclusively on the dog element and left out the hit-and-run entirely.
Yep, this was most likely not the right move on the Redmonds’ part. They could have pretty much just mentioned their names, let their customers know that their chips are always baked and never fried, and just entirely left out the story of when they accidentally killed someone. It seems like their company is still doing all right and getting stocked in some major grocery stores, so all isn’t lost, but they might want to hire an editor when they’re working on the copy for their next snack food’s packaging.