Cal Ripken, Jr., rolled out a new product targeted at kids this week: Shredded beef jerky packaged in tins to look like chewing tobacco.
(No idea who the guy on the right is. Can’t be Cal.)
With the chewing tobacco business thankfully on life support, at least compared to when I was broadcasting baseball in the majors and minor leagues in the ’90s, not too sure why Ripken would want to remind kids that the biz actually still exists.
That wasn’t Ripken’s intention, as the product is a competitor to longstanding tobacco substitute Big League Chew gum, but is giving kids containers which only other use is to contain chewing tobacco products really a grand business strategy.
Then there’s this quote from Ripken in the company’s press release:
“I gave Power Shred to my son’s baseball team and they loved it,” said Cal Ripken Jr. “It is a great source of protein and helps maintain energy levels during workouts and physical activity.”
What, you didn’t know that sodium-infused, dried meat has long been associated with “maintaining energy levels during workouts“? Your poor kids!
Obviously the Ripken product itself is harmless and I really, really don’t want to come off as a politically correct ninny in objecting to it.
But can’t we just allow the tobacco business to die on its own?