Consumers Eat Their Cake and Salad, Too
By George Anderson
Ponce de Leon came to the new world searching for the Fountain of Youth. The band of merry gentlemen who made up the Monty Python troupe went trotting across the English countryside to the sounds of coconuts clapping together to find the Holy Grail. Today, Americans everywhere are off looking to find that elusive “balance” between what they know they should eat and what actually finds its way into their stomachs.
For example, eating a high calorie and fat laden meal now can be justified by a consumer if he or she makes a promise to “balance” it with exercise and a lighter meal later.
According to an article in The Hartman Group’s Hartbeat e-newsletter, “balance has become one of the dominant consumer ideologies of the early 21st century.” It is also, according to the piece, “mostly an illusion.”
Balance, the article’s author maintains, “is more of an ideological construct than a legitimate practice an aspirational goal as opposed to an empirical reality – something we all strive to achieve vs. something actually attained.”
The goal then, for companies such as retailers that market and sell products to consumers, is to understand the difference between what people say and what they do and buy.
Moderator’s Comment: Why do so many new products fail? How can food retailers do a better job of stocking store shelves with products consumers will
How many “better-for-you” foods have died on the shelf? Great marketing and the consumer’s desire for the magic answer may create trial but it won’t result
in repeat purchases. –
George Anderson – Moderator