I’ve written before that food companies will make whatever they think they can sell. These days, that means increasingly re-examining long-time processed food products which fewer and fewer people want. Advertising Age recently ran a fascinating, in-depth look at the upheaval changing American tastes and perceptions about health are having on the food business.
Read the article in its entirety, it’s worth your time. It covers Kraft, Pepsi, Kashi and the problems being owned by Kellogg present it, Campbell’s Soup, Heinz…it’s an extensive piece.
What I think is most interesting about what’s happening is the impact of a changing food retail landscape on food processors. The article gets into this too, noting that more retailers are offering more prepared foods in-store, meaning they aren’t relying on the big brands to make them bucks as much as they once did. Food retailers are consolidating too in the face of Wal-Mart becoming a food-retailing behemoth.
Target also has become big in food. Target and Wal-Mart don’t have the old ties with food processors that traditional supermarkets did. They want to sell whatever consumers want, and will go around traditional channels to get it.
The bottom line in all this is that if you don’t like the choice you see in your local food stores, keep complaining, it eventually does have an impact. I just wish more people were complaining about salt, fat and sugar in food. The article also notes people are turning to some organic products that are loaded with all three, thinking the mere fact that they are organically grown makes everything ok. It doesn’t.