Hello guys, hope everyone had a great weekend! Today I am going to blog about marketing and how it impacts the choices we make in everyday living. Particularly with regards to food and drinks.
Knowledge is power. If we really want to take care of our health, we need to study, research, and understand how businesses use marketing strategies to get people to consume unhealthy products with the new label of “healthy”.
Companies observe consumers. They spend an incredible amount of money studying behavior. They are seeing that there is a portion of the population who wishes to make healthier choices.
Thanks to social media, we are observing an increase interest in health-related issues. The problem is that a lot of the time people do not really know what “healthy “eating/drinking really is therefore they are easily manipulated through cunning marketing and advertising.
For some people, any vegetarian dish is healthy (even if it is loaded with cheese and oils). As long as there is a veggie, people automatically relate that to health without taking much into consideration the preparation method.
MARKETING: A GAME OF PERCEPTION
They say that marketing is a game of perception, I couldn’t agree more. For example, vegans know too well the torture and suffering of cows in the dairy industry. A cow’s natural lifespan is around 20 years, but cows used by the dairy industry are typically killed after five years because their bodies are so wear out from constantly being pregnant or lactating.
They are standing on concrete flooring for the entire day without having the chance to go out or do anything else but being milked all day so people, who are not calves can drink it. Most of these poor animals get seizures or pass out due to exhaustion until the very same day they die.
Of course, dairy companies will never show this side to the public. It wouldn’t be profitable. Instead, in order to get people to consume as much milk as possible, they brand and market milk in beautiful/cute cartons depicting happy cows in green pastures.
A reality that only exists in the twilight zone. They also add key words such as “free range” in order to make consumers believe that they can purchase these products guilt-free while still profiting and utilizing animals as slaves.
In the US, the USDA has strict rules with regards to labeling products for advertisement.
As an example, they do not allow the use of the words “healthy” or “nutritious” to describe eggs. Why? Simple: Eggs aren’t healthy neither nutritious.
So basically companies have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out ways to market their products in a way that attracts clients and meet the USDA requirements.
WHAT ABOUT T&T?
The rules don’t seem to be too strict here in T&T. Sometime ago, there was an issue with a product labelled as coconut water when in fact it was a coconut drink and forced the manufacture to change the product’s label.
I am observing a very concerning trend. I am seeing products being referred to as “fruit juices” even though the actual juice content on the product is 20% or less. What about the other 80%?
Their target audience aren’t only adults, but also children. They must get them addicted from young, right?
These companies are partnering with nutritionists and trainers. It is something extremely worrisome to me. Why? Because in order to gain the trust of the general public (with regards to their health-related claims of their products) they are working along with people who are supposed to know better.
People tend to trust professionals and those with years of experience.
However, they are recommending/condoning unhealthy drinks full of sugar, artificial ingredients along with phrases such as “eat right” or “keeping with a healthy lifestyle”.
They are showing recipes of cooking pork and other meats along with words such as “healthy”.
Have you seen the “healthy” recipes post online? They are full of sugar, dairy, butter, oil, meats and ALL the foods/ingredients that are the number one cause of heart ailment and diabetes in this country!
It is short of disappointing and disingenuous to say the least.
Another technique being used is listing (On their package product) all the ingredients that allegedly the product does not have.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ LABELS
For example, sometime ago I saw a popular snack brand and it stated in the package: No cholesterol, Non GMO, No MSG, gluten free, no artificial colouring, no high fructose corn syrup, 0g transfat, etc.
Most people would say that’s amazing and buy the product right away thinking it is “healthy” WITHOUT bothering to read the nutrition facts.
What the company isn’t telling you is that the product might not have high fructose corn syrup but it has the silent killer: Sugar. What the company isn’t telling you is that it contains palm oil (That besides being a highly controversial item for health) it contributes to species extinction (Orangutans) and environmental destruction.
The product pride itself in 0g Trans-fat but it doesn’t tell you that it contains butter.
In other words, we all need to do our own research and don’t let others do the thinking for us. Whether they are companies, experts, health coaches, nutritionists, or any other professional take your time and study labels. That’s where the truth really is.