Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 20, 2013 12:47 PM
Emblematic of the slow but steady rise in health and wellness awareness, the gold-standard of ‘conscious capitalism,’ natural grocer Whole Foods is taking its brand and business acumen into the health resort sector.
"We have the perfect vehicle for this," Whole Foods Market co-CEO John Mackey told USA Today. "Think of it as a center where people would go for a day, a weekend or a week for healthy lifestyle education."
Call it a spa, resort or "healthy lifestyle education center," it's planned to open in the brand's Austin, Texas, hometown within three years—a pilot project that could catapult the company into the lucrative market pioneered by Canyon Ranch or Pritikin, or it could be another failure along the lines of the five education-focused Wellness Clubs that Whole Foods tested in 2006, including a location in Dallas.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 1, 2013 02:22 PM
It’s the authentic, organic kind of success story that makes everybody happy. Annie’s, maker of organic food and snacks, marketed under the tagline, “We make good,” just joined the ranks of digital marketers with a social media campaign true to the core of their brand message.
“Part of our corporate philosophy is doing well and doing good at the same time,” comments Sarah Bird, Annie’s SVP marketing and “chief mom officer.” “We’re hoping to seed a conversation about doing good.”
The video, which can be viewed on Annie's Facebook, shows a woman encouraged to tweet hashtag #sharegood to “get something good.” Post-tweet, (spoiler alert) a series of surprising events begins, such as a man in a bunny suit jumps out with a bowl of Annie’s mac and cheese for the woman to eat. Upon eating, a group of magicians appear and perform street theater while the woman is encouraged to shout “Something Good!” which triggers a musical performance from the back of a truck.
The macro message, “Share something good to get something good,” starts with sharing the video on Facebook or Twitter, which generates a "thank you" and a stream of cute bunny videos, because hey—who doens't like bunnies? Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 4, 2013 03:06 PM
Public apologies by high-profile experts are rare, making this week's anti-GMO reversal — call it a GMea Culpa — by British environmentalist, author and Oxford University visiting research associate Mark Lynas particularly stunning.
Lynas spurred the anti-GMO movement in the mid-‘90s, continuing to argue as recently as 2008 that corporate greed was threatening Mother Earth and her inhabitants; but at this week's Oxford Farming Conference, he recanted his position in a very public way.
“I want to start with some apologies," he stated. "For the record, here and upfront, I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.”
“As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely. So I guess you’ll be wondering—what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it?"Continue reading...
truth in packaging
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 17, 2012 05:00 PM
Kellogg's Kashi brand has just introduced two new USDA Certified organic cereals, touting that it's using real organic fruit and whole grains in the wake of its Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) flap earlier this year. "We've always believed that nature makes the best-tasting ingredients, like the hearty whole grains and luscious organic fruit you can see and taste in our Berry Fruitful and Blackberry Hills cereals," states Keegan Sheridan, natural food and lifestyle expert at Kashi, in a press release.
Each serving of Berry Fruitful provides 6g of fiber and 46g of whole grains, nearly 100% of the recommended daily value, while Blackberry Hills offers 3g of fiber and 16g of whole grains per serving – and like all Kashi foods, both are free of preservatives, artificial flavors, colors and high fructose corn syrup. Equally important, both cereals carry the official Non-GMO Project Verified seal. But that still won't convince its GMO foes to re-embrace the brand.
Kashi doesn't broadcast the fact that it's owned by Kellogg, nor that it has used GMOs, because it's trying to be perceived as an independent brand to win a bigger share of the natural and organic food category, which grew 9.5% in 2011 to $31.5 billion in US sales. The brand's still recovering from being engulfed in a social media firestorm back in April, when a New England store boycotted it after discovering "that 100% of the soy used in Kashi products is genetically modified, and that when the USDA tested the grains used there were found to be pesticides that are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors."
Kashi's Keegan Sheridan defended the company's GMO usage with a YouTube video, but it's still getting flack from consumers opposed to GMOs on its Facebook page, as you can see at top.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 13, 2012 05:14 PM
One Direction stormed the Today Show this morning, with a concert in NBC's New York digs in Rockefeller Square and news of a 3D concert film slated for next year (directed by product placement foe-turned-champion Morgan Spurlock). Hot on the Heelys of its Pepsi "Live for Now" US TV campaign with NFL star Drew Brees, the band is extending its brand to Colgate-Palmolive toothpaste: 1D Colgate Max Fresh. The collection of three oral care products, available in the U.S. only, is designed "to add some fun to teens' and tweens' brushing regimens," said Philip Durocher, VP and GM of U.S. Oral Care for Colgate-Palmolive. Hopefully fans will be inspired to brush their teeth in one direction (roll that brush, kids!) too.
While Taylor Swift is slightly older, at the ripe old age of 22, she's also quick to embrace novel ways to promote her albums, including partnering with Keds and Papa John's for her latest release, Red. Next up: her mobile app (available in iTunes and Google Play) is incorporating augmented reality so fans can access exclusive content related to Red. By opening the app's AR feature and pointing the device's viewfinder at a still image on the "Red" album cover (and on in-store displays at select Walmart stores), fans will see the images come to life. The app also works on the Taylor Swift Wonderstruck fragrance packaging from Elizabeth Arden.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 05:08 PM
For a while, the notion of regulating genetically modified organisms (better known as GMOs) included in food seemed like a good idea, and anti-Big Food advocates in California attracted a lot of support in a state where residents like to be on the cutting edge of just about everything. Calfornians have never minded serving as a bellwether on new regulatory initiatives that end up sweeping the rest of the country, such as automotive emissions.
But the closer today's vote on Proposition 37 loomed, the more that initial support of the idea waned. And this U.S. Election Day, even backers of the anti-GMO initiative seemed resigned to its defeat, although it's still being closely watched. (Update: Prop 37 was indeed defeated at the polling booth.)
What happened? Well, a combination of huge contributions by moneyed CPG brands battered Prop 37's drive to label GMOs in a massive advertising and PR blitz with a "No on 37" drive. And backers of the added regulation alleged dirty tricks by the competition as they sought to sway voters (despite scientific evidence to the contrary) that GMO-containing products are hardly the stuff of "Frankenfood" that really harms consumers.Continue reading...
truth in advertising
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 1, 2012 06:48 PM
The Federal Trade Commission’s Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, commonly referred to as the “green” guides, were first published in 1992 to help marketers and advertisers avoid deceptive and far-reaching eco claims without proof or qualification. The final revisions were released Monday with a press conference outlining the changes.
“The introduction of environmentally friendly products into the marketplace is a win for consumers who want to purchase greener products and for producers who want to sell them,” stated FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “But this win-win can only occur if marketers’ claims are truthful and substantiated. The FTC’s changes to the Green Guides will level the playing field for honest business people and it is one reason why we had such broad support.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 27, 2012 01:34 PM
There was an interesting reaction to the recent report that organic food holds nary a nutritional edge over regular fare: It did little to dent the enthusiasm of organic mavens because most of them don't buy the stuff for that reason but, rather, because it carries fewer pesticides and because organic farmers raise their crops sustainably.
In a similar way, the subtext of a new report on "green" spending by U.S. consumers may be more interesting than its headline's conclusion: "Organic Buying, Other Behaviors Have Gone Mainstream – But Green Purchasing Still Faces Price Barriers."
The consumers surveyed said they're less willing to pay more for the most environmentally benign products in their categories, according to new findings by GfK Roper in its latest Green Gauge report. Just 42 percent say they are willing to pay more for a "green" car, for instance, down from 62 percent in 2008. And only 60 percent say they'd be willing to pay more for energy-efficient light bulbs, down from 70 percent.Continue reading...