I am fascinated by the changing world of marketing and advertising and how that affects my choices as a consumer. Companies are either treating us as intelligent informed people who want the best or trying to fool our decision making process by tapping into unmet life needs using bright colors and language that ties in with what we are looking for – in the case of food for example you see the words FRESH!, Farm fresh, natural, real, etc. On a post I recently read by a social media expert ( I can’t remember who sorry) there was a riveting reference to a quote about how for the first time in history the consumer is ahead of the advertisers. I loosely take this to mean that everyday consumers are out smarting advertisers. They are looking for the information they need and if they can’t get a straight forward honest answer from the store or the manufacturer they will go anywhere the net can take them to make an informed choice.
I have actually seen evidence of that on the store shelves of my favorite NO FRILLS grocery store. If you are making informed choices you need to bring your eyeglasses and possibly a strong magnifier to read all of the fine print. There are few packaged cookies that don’t contain stuff I don’t want to consume for example. But what if you forget your glasses or you don’t have a handy dandy smart phone? Just look at the choices for any given product on the shelf and you’ll find that the best food choice is nearly empty no matter where it is placed.
For example, in the aisle that has juices it is very easy to grab the colorful, prominently displayed, sugar loaded, artificially flavored stuff. The containers with the real juice, no sugar or weird things added are on the top or bottom shelf AND the shelves are nearly or half empty in that spot. I don’t need my glasses. Like tracks laid down in fresh fallen snow other consumers are showing me where to look. Ditto organic milk, true artisano bread, breakfast cereal, and of course cookies. I don’t even think they stock my favorite Sha Sha Gingersnaps as they may have appeared too healthy to qualify as junk food! I smile now as I go through the grocery aisles and give appreciation to the power of the consumer and the possibility that we are all seeing past slick advertising that gets us to spend more money on fake food that does not nourish us. In the cereal aisle sugary cereals are still sold, but it looks like there is a lot of effort going on to make the sale. Meantime, on the bottom shelf, you can’t find a bag of old fashioned Quaker Oats to cook from scratch – it is completely sold out.
How easy is it for you to find your healthy food choices in your local store? How are other consumers helping you to choose?
For myself in my next Health and Fitness repatterning I want to thoroughly resonate with this new consumer awareness. I am going to make the intention that I organically make healthy food choices at the grocery store no matter how tempted I may be by deceptive advertising or product placement.