Selling the Amish

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“Amish Country” on the label: Deception or fair game?

“I see this in the food industry.  There’s quite a few organizations here locally that will sell using “Amish”.  And what they’re trying to do is create the perception that it does come from Amish producers.  When it doesn’t.  They don’t explicitly say so, they just say “Amish Country this”, “Amish Country that,”…”Amish” is big, “Country” is small.  So, the customer that buys this, his…

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Part Two: An Amish America Q-and-A with a Lancaster County Amishman

In this second part of an interview with an anonymous Lancaster County Amishman, we look at the phenomenon of outsiders joining the Amish, using the Amish name to market and sell products to the public, Amish participation in the recent presidential election, and the meaning and purpose of shunning. (And if you missed the first part, here it is: An Amish America Q-and-A with a…

Marketing the Amish

photo: amishcigar.com ‘Amish’ sells. That fact is not lost on the numerous merchants of Amish-branded stuff.  Software, refrigerators, and organic cotton bedsheets are among the products that non-Amish dealers have sold under the Amish moniker or by association with Amish images. Often, the connection to bona fide ‘Amishness’ (whatever that term means) is dubious at best.  David Luthy wrote an article in the mid-90s in…

Selling the Amish, continued

Here’s an ad for Amish Naturals pasta. It hits all the main points–made by Amish hands, ingredients cultivated in the heart of Ohio’s Amish country, water from Amish wells, and the noodle plant was even constructed by Amish workers. Plus it’s all-organic. As the Amish population continues its explosive growth, ‘wellness living’  increases in popularity, and the Amish mystique shines ever brighter, city folk hankering…

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Amish for Sale

‘Amish’ sells. Whether it’s an overpriced bag of trail mix or a six-figure kitchen cabinet installation, people gravitate towards the implicit quality of anything with the Amish label. Exactly what does that label mean anyway? Does tobacco grown in the general vicinity of Amish country count as ‘Amish’?  What about an RV produced at a factory with Amish workers?  Does an Amish person actually have…