We all know the rising cost of food is a real problem — but apparently, it hasn't had much of an effect on the meaty, salty snack staple known as the Slim Jim.
That's what Slim Jim maker ConAgra told PolitiFact.com when the news operation set out to fact-check potential presidential candidate Sarah Palin's recent complaint in an interview with Newsweek that due to inflation, the price of her husband Todd's Slim Jims had gone up from 99 cents to $2.69.
And food marketers everywhere are probably applauding, because ConAgra got a big PR boost out of the whole thing.
What Palin said:
I was ticked off at Todd yesterday. He walks into a gas station as we're driving over from Minnesota. He buys a Slim Jim — we're always eating that jerky stuff — for $2.69.
I said, 'Todd, those used to be 99 cents, just recently!' And he says, 'Man, the dollar's worth nothing anymore.' A jug of milk and a loaf of bread and a dozen eggs — every time I walk into that grocery store, a couple of pennies more...
The suggestion that Slim Jim prices had nearly tripled brought a response from ConAgra Foods.
Teresa Paulsen, a ConAgra spokeswoman, told PolitiFact, "We admire Mr. Palin's taste and appreciate his support." But Paulsen added, "We haven't raised the price significantly on any Slim Jim products."
Paulsen also offered a potential explanation for what the Palins saw as a price hike.
"Our iconic Slim Jim Giant Sticks are priced around $1.30," she said. "Mr. Palin might have been reaching for one of our Slim Jim Monster Sticks, which offers double the meat for $2.30, or our Slim Jim Kippered Beef Steak, which typically sells for around $2.65."
Now, we know that politicians everywhere like to use folksy anecdotes to show they are just like us. And it's not just Republicans — remember candidate Obama's flop with the price of arugula at Whole Foods comment?