As the frequent bearer of bad news about the food industry, I am thrilled to share a positive story. Last month, MOM’s Organic Market, a small retail chain based in the Baltimore area, announced it would stop carrying products featuring children’s cartoon characters. Read more
Environmental advocate/writer Kerry Trueman checks in with food politics pioneer and NYU nutrition professor Dr. Marion Nestle, whose most recent book is Why Calories Count, with Malden Nesheim. You can read more of Nestle’s insights at food politics.com and follow her on Twitter @marionnestle. Nestle is currently working on her next book, Eat, Drink, Vote: The Illustrated Guide to Food Politics, due out from Rodale in September 2013. Read more
Nutrition and child advocates are pushing for government policies to counteract the onslaught of junk food marketing targeted at our children.
But there’s something many don’t know: an array of lawsuits currently making their way through the courts could derail our ability to pursue these kinds of regulations.
Right now, judges are preparing to rule on cases that carry major implications for how products like candy, fast food, and soda are marketed to kids. These cases will decide whether the government can prohibit companies from giving free samples of harmful products to children. Whether the government can require stores to post warnings about a product’s dangerous health consequences. Whether the government can require effective disclosures so consumers know what’s in the products they are buying.
These issues and more are currently in play in federal courts around the country. So how could nutrition advocates not know about them?
PepsiCo has long been my poster child for food corporations whose actions speak louder than words when to comes to responsible marketing. CEO Indra Nooyi loves to tout the company’s “Performance with Purpose” and show off the company’s “good-for-you” foods that it gets to define. Most don’t realize that PepsiCo is the nation’s largest food company, with five divisions spanning from soda to salty snacks to breakfast cereals. With annual revenues of $60 billion and 285,000 employees, PepsiCo is an multinational corporate behemoth.
Now the company’s true colors are revealed in all their twisted marketing glory. A legal complaint filed today with the Federal Trade Commission by the Center for Digital Democracy and several other groups called upon the agency to investigate PepsiCo and its subsidiary Frito-Lay for “engaging in deceptive and unfair digital marketing practices” in violation of federal law. Read more
When Yeo Valley Organic in the UK set to make an ad about their dairy products, they wanted to inspire people to pronounce the name correctly (it’s pronounced “yo”) and to get people talking about the brand. Of course, this led them to rapping about “cows, tractors and wax jackets” in a much talked about two minute music video. Read more
It was a seminal moment. For the first time, breaking all convention, Ronald turned to the TV cameras and addressed himself to his viewers directly. It had never been done before, and it set off a revolution the consequences of which we still struggle to fight. When Ronald Reagan ended his presidential debate with Jimmy Carter in 1979 with “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”, his media savvy changed mass politics forever.
But long before that, another Ronald messed with mass communications no less indelibly, paving the way for today’s politicians and pundits. Read more
The Imperial Stock Ranch, which began in 1871, faces a new and serious challenge to its very survival: how to create new markets for its products to compensate for longstanding existing markets that have declined or shifted overseas. Some bold steps were needed to rethink what to do with the wool from the sheep they raise on their 30,000 acre ranch in Eastern Oregon. Their solution? Direct, value-added marketing to yarn retailers and apparel designers.
Jeanne Carver is following in a long tradition of farmers striving to distinguish their product in the marketplace—first and foremost by its quality, but also through processing, product enhancements, packaging, and suggestions for how consumers can use the product. As you watch the video, note the four key areas where producers focus their efforts in order to achieve success: Read more