IS A GENUINE CONSUMER FOCUS BEGINNING TO PENETRATE BIG FOOD?
I admit it's coming slowly, but surely as Spring will ultimately arrive in New York, there seems to be something of a renaissance of genuine consumer focused thinking. We all know we're beginning to think differently about food and what goes into it and what is done to it. Suddenly, perhaps as suddenly as an iceberg emerges off the starboard bow, Big Food seems to be doing 'business as usual' in a fresh way too. McD's chicken move is followed by Burger King's emancipation from its soda set point is followed by Quaker Oats steel cut varietals. Where will this end? Perhaps it won't.
Certainly it was difficult to change the course of the Titanic. Impossible, as it turned out. Perhaps it will prove just a bit easier to move Big Food product innovation and marketing. Perhaps not. But it must be done or else what sounds now like a happily-go-lucky 30-second spot will reveal itself to be the charming ship's orchestra fiddling to keep morale up while others fight over space in the life boats, otherwise known shrinking shelf space and same store comps. The alternative is the Brands we grew up with will plow straight on, becoming at once a nostalgic nod to earlier ignorance (quaint as a scene of a pregnant woman in a bar with a martini and a Camel, a la Mad Men) and a cautionary tale of hubris and despicable Brand stewardship.