After a brief break from the limelight, Broccoli announced its official return to your refrigerator on Sunday, in an exclusive with the New York Times.
For the past few years, the green vegetable has mostly taken a backseat to kale and spinach, both of whom have become a favorite side dish among trendsetting foodies. Broccoli, on the other hand, faced a wave of public scrutiny for its drab appearance and taste, becoming known as "overcooked and soggy," "hiding under cheese," or something kids regard as "told not to leave the table until it's eaten."
In an effort to revamp its image, Broccoli partnered with the advertising firm Victors & Spoils, who contracted with a crisis management team known as the Broccoli Commission of America.
"[Broccoli is] overlooked and left behind," Sara Brito, the ad team's strategy director, told The Times. "It doesn't matter in our culture. It has lost its confidence, succumbed to bullying and pressure. It's content being on the sidelines."
In a statement to the press, Broccoli reportedly said it was time to make a change.
"I'm tired of being pushed around," the vegetable commented.
As part of their research, Brito's team asked a survey group to write epitaphs for broccoli, and found the sentiment to be dismal.
One wrote, "I hardly spent time with you, mainly because I didn't like you."
Tragically, many Americans are shunning greens altogether. Despite the proven health benefits, only five percent of Americans younger than 50 are getting the recommended amounts of vegetables, and a majority eat half as many vegetables as they should.
Upon further investigation, nevertheless, the ad team discovered that kids didn't totally hate Broccoli (in fact, it was more their parents harboring resentment from their own childhoods that was the problem). They also discovered the fibrous veggie ranked 20th among vegetables, ahead of kale "despite kale's sudden rocketing to fame."
All Broccoli needed was a makeover. Time for the Commission to work its magic. They decided to have broccoli "pick a fight with kale," and the drama is playing out vividly.
Campaign slogans include: "Broccoli: Now 43 Percent Less Pretentious Than Kale," and "Eat Fad Free: Broccoli vs. Kale."
Don't be surprised if you hear the phrase "Extreme Brocking" in the news sometime soon either, that is, if the stunt plays out. The Commission plans to lift Broccoli by helicopter over a volcano and roast it.
Of the renewed attention, Broccoli seems pleased and ready to tackle its nemesis.
"The time off has helped me to think," it said. "To my grub from another shrub, it's going down."