Monthly Archives: October 2011

The branding power of a well chosen word

Artisan…the word that elevates any food or beverage product. According to researcher Datamonitor, there are over 800 food products that proudly display this moniker, 200 of which were introduced or re-branded in 2010 alone. Why? Producers and marketers adopting this descriptor have claimed impressive sales lifts, and in some cases, with increased price points that are commensurate with the elevated status that the word artisan connotes. Never underestimate the power of a well chosen word in branding and positioning.

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Food Fight Over Food Facts

There seems to be a food fight going on over how food facts should be provided to consumers on packaged food products. Everyone agrees that “front of package” information should be provided for a quick read so that consumers can make an educated product choice and move on the next item on their shopping list. The Grocery Manufacturers Association has launched its voluntary “Facts Up Front” approach that provides quantified information on the amounts of sodium, fat, sugar, and calories in the product. This approach allows consumers to interpret this information in the context of their individual dietary concerns and needs. The Institute of Medicine recently released its proposal for an interpretive system that rates products based on the amounts of saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugar in the product. The result would be a front of package rating system, 0-3 stars, checks, or some other graphic symbol, to assist consumers in making healthier choices. The FDA will probably ultimately decide the real issue of whether consumers can make their own decisions using facts or whether they need an interpretive system that implies good versus bad choices. One thing is clear…front of package information, in one form or another, will become the norm in food packaging design.

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It’s a great time to be a supermarket.

An August, 2011 Harris Poll, by Harris Interactive, indicates that the public seems to love its supermarkets. The survey, which began in 1997, measures the public’s perception of how well twenty-two of the nation’s largest industries serve their consumers. With an 80% good job minus bad job (90% good job – 10% bad job) perception, supermarkets scored first on the list as doing a good job in serving it’s consumers. For comparison sake, oil companies scored -31% (33% good job – 64% bad job). Packaged food companies fared very well also at 47% (71% good job – 24% bad job). It seems that the food industry in general is positioned in a very positive light, which offers a great opportunity for individual food industry producers and marketers to build consumer loyalty. Several other industries in this survey would love to be in that position.

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Please don’t tax my fat-slam favs!

Apparently, Denmark has taken the dare…taxing food products and items based on the amount of saturated fat they contain. Presumably, there is an expectation that individuals will alter their food selections and make healthier choices based on the “tax stick”. Everyone’s favorites are on the hit list…pizza, cheeseburgers, butter, milk, cheese. The tax tab averages around $3 for every 2 pounds of saturated fat. I wonder if Denmark’s beloved namesake pastry is also on the fat tax hit list. Care for a Danish, anyone?

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