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Has the word 'Artisan' as an adjective been over used?  This is a question that was recently posed to me by one of my friends who saw it as a description for a product at Dunkin Donuts.  As someone who uses this word to describe my own products it gave me great pause and I started to pay more attention to the word as a descriptor.  I've now seen it used on products that are clearly factory made and on bakery and chocolate items that are made from hand with great care.

According to Websters 'Artisan' when used as an adjective is:  pertaining to or noting high quality, distinctive products made in small quantities: ie artisan beer.

Not to beat up on any company in particular but it would appear that perhaps this word has been used incorrectly at the very least in some product descriptions.  As much as I love Dunkin Donuts coffee I would never use 'Artisan' to describe any of their products, I feel the same way about large bakery chains using this word to describe their breads and pastries.

So what do you think?  Has 'Artisan' jumped the shark as it were?


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Very funny blog about exactly what you are talking about...


Great contribution. Very funny, thanks for sharing!

On a more serious note, what makes us artisan or not? We are surely not making chocolate like the old mayans did but most of us are far away from being industrial in the sense many people think about. 

Oh we could have a long tirade of over used notions.. Dark chocolate?  Abused percentages? Starbucks trying to own the word macchiato and then redefining it as something that it's not.. The incorrect usage of Gourmet.. Whitewashing, Greenwashing, Pinkwashing..

As a marketer I'm jaded--for a fun (hehe) read check out Brandwashing.

I know i have recently read that Dunkin Donuts was being sued over the use of the word "artisan" describing their bagels.  I try not to use the word exactly for this reason- everyone is using it so it has lost its meaning.  It is being used to describe products that are decidedly NOT artisan, so it has lost all its meaning.  At least that is my opinion.  I think I will just refer to my chocolates as ' small batch and hand crafted."

Thanks Jessica, Andy and Patti!!

Jessica that is a very funny blog and is exactly what I was asking.

Andy and Patti I couldn't agree more.  I'm trying to get away from using artisan as well and emphasize hand made and hand crafted as well.


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