In The New York Times Magazine: Pirate’s Booty

Posted by Rob Walker on June 29, 2008
Posted Under: Consumed,Ethics,Sustenance

Puffed treats that make your noshing feel a little more virtuous.

This week in Consumed, a look at a snack that seems to have drawn a crowd by way of its virtues, its quirkiness, its honest — and kept it despite some pretty serious road bumps.

Pirate’s Booty hasn’t simply leveraged unusual consumer loyalty into a business with a reported $50 million in annual revenue. It has held onto that loyalty despite incidents that would seem to cut against its image. A few years ago, the Good Housekeeping Research Institute slammed the brand after its own tests found that a one-ounce serving of Booty contained 8.5 grams of fat, not 2.5 as the label indicated. And in 2007, the company issued a recall of its Veggie Booty and Super Veggie Tings varieties after they were linked to cases of salmonella.

Included: Founder explains that “Good For You” is not so much a claim as a congratulation: “You bought this bag — well, good for you!” The product contains no MSG and no preservatives, and therefore the buyer deserves a pat on the back for choosing a snack that’s not so bad: “Wow, you chose something that is going to change your life,” he says.

Read the whole column in the June 29, 2008 issue of The New York Times Magazine, or right here.

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