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Books About Getting Kids To Eat Veggies Sell Like Hotcakes While Authors Quarrel

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, January 11, 2008

Missy Chase Levine, author of “The Sneaky Chef” is suing Jessica Seinfeld, and her husband, comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Jessica is the author of
Deceptively Delicious.”

The dispute between the two parties has been going on for some time, and Jerry Seinfeld appeared on the David Letterman show jokingly claiming that his wife was being accused of “vegetable plagiarism.”

Both books are focused on the same idea: That a great way to get kids to eat vegetables is to trick them by adding vegetables inconspicuously to various foods. For example, adding a little cauliflower and sweet potato puree to a lasagna or a macaroni and cheese with pureed cauliflower and zucchini.

The dispute between the two started over the originality of the concept and escalated to a slander allegation based on Jerry Seinfeld’s comments on David Letterman.

Whoever is right on the law — and there have been other books with the same theme, such as “Sneaky Veggies: How to Get Vegetables Under the Radar & Into Your Family” — the whole controversy has been selling books big time. The Seinfeld book has done over a million copies and Jessica Seinfeld appeared on Oprah.

The industry could do more to piggyback on this trend. We have seen zero in-store merchandising on this hot area of consumer interest.

Maybe some in the industry are uncomfortable with the suggestion that to get children to eat some of our products, a little stealth is required. But parents do what they must — so some industry tools to help them will probably be winners.

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