Thursday, September 10, 2015

Food industry - Are consumers finally listened?

Voice of consumer is a cool concept used by marketers for a couple of years. It is seen as a great way to innovate and improve products & services the right way, based on customer feedbacks.

Now look what’s happening to junk food and soda industry.
The face huge difficulties.
They are under pressure.
Their benefit goes down.

What happened?

For dozens of years, junk food and soda industry was flourishing. 
Everybody barely knew it was not so good for health. 
These industries were spending tons of dollars in lobbying to create “positive” surveys, hire "positive doctors", influence FDA policies, make ingredient lists difficult to understand. 
They were financing educational programs saying exercise is good to keep healthy. They were marketing the quality of ingredients they use. They were doing minor efforts to look more healthy. They were advertising like hell, controlling indirectly media (financed by ads) content.

But now, in 2015, it seems that it’s no longer enough.
Soda ban project pop up everywhere, tax projects on junk food appear everywhere, studies showing that sugar is a dangerous poison spread everywhere in the news, industrial food is finger pointed and… sales decline.

What happened? (again)

Did these industries lower their lobbying and marketing efforts? I don’t think so.
Did they made “big communication mistakes”? I don’t think so.
Did you saw some mass demonstrations in the street against junk food and soda? Didn’t saw it.

Maybe something else changed. 
Maybe the way people get information changed.
Maybe people realized that their purchase behavior was the center, the cornerstone of the food system (with the price of energy and climate of course…)
Maybe the way people spread news on social media changed.
Maybe the way government, seeking more than anything else popularity, changed.
Maybe – now that Wikileaks discloses cables every weeks and that Hillary Clinton emails are on the web - transparency is increasing and unpopular brands loose tractions on politics.

Maybe consumers are finally listened and empowered.
I hope and I think.