Blue Food was everything I wanted in that shiny, plastic, over processed world. Everything I had been taught by marketing experts to covet in the number of other girls' dolls, to whose mom bought them Booberry for breakfast. It was empty calories, high fructose promises, and false happiness. The crashes, both sugar and stock market, were inevitable.
Technology is allowing us to peer behind the veil of TV commercials; it is connecting us in real, authentic and meaningful ways to the food we eat. It is creating communities of like-minded consumers and producers. This week, the FDA issued an industry-wide mandate to lower sodium in processed foods. Has the ratchet changed direction?
Say hello to "Mr. Happy," McDonald's new ambassador of nutrition. Yes, nutrition and McDonald's are now in the same sentence! I'm scared and sad. I don't want to learn from a box. I don't want to learn from a scary, big toothed, slightly creepy object. How am I supposed to trust that? Nutrition needs to be clean, whole, nutrient dense and not in a box. I can make a fast food meal that's more nutritious and much faster than McDonald's can -- raw spinach greens, easy over eggs and a green smoothie. It would take 10 minutes flat and I wouldn't have to leave my house or put expensive, air polluting gas in the car!
There we were, enjoying our salty fries and other deep fried goodness, when I noticed a family sitting close by. Mom on her iPhone, kid one on an iTouch (with headphones on) and kid two on an iTouch (also with headphones on). There they were, eating their food, playing their games and uttering not a single word to one another. I'd never seen anything like it. And I could feel a little judgement of my own rising within.
The Calgary Board of Education has recently opened the door to the naming of classrooms to corporate sponsorship. Naming of classrooms or programs leads to some very fundamental questions about public education and has many drawbacks. One of which is if you allow Coca Cola a five year deal on a school gym, why not another school sponsored by Pepsi? If they can sponsor a high school gym, how about a junior high? A middle school? An elementary?
Much in the way Nirvana begat Puddle of Mudd, the top chefs of the food renaissance have brought with them a new sub-group of preening, self-important windbags. I'm referring, of course, to people who call themselves "foodies." "Foodies" are people who feel the need to distinguish themselves from the rest of us who eat food. It all just makes me crave a Big Mac combo.
Facebook just announced that it now has one billion active users -- an astounding number. But whether your business' number hovers at 100 or a billion, this singular measure of "success" is of little value, and at best misleading. Is a billion users a significant milestone? Absolutely. Does it matter? Not in the least.
Are you looking to re-position your brand and products/services to a distinct audience? Brands that are looking to aggressively grow their business don't want to isolate their current customers because that's their "sweet spot," but they want to grow and need to look to new customer segments to make that happen. Here are some great examples of partnerships that I have seen in recent times.