business news in context, analysis with attitude

In assessing the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) “Future of Food” conference held this week in Washington, DC, Advertising Age summed it up this way: “After nearly a decade of grappling with the need for more-healthful offerings, food-industry executives…seem no closer to a solution.”

Which may not be exactly what GMA wanted to hear.

Ad Age noted that while technology and biotechnology will help companies create foods that taste good, are convenient and nutritious, there was a sense that corporate managements may not always be receptive to such innovations because development tends to be expensive – and it is harder to sell higher priced items to consumers.

And much of the blame for this problem was laid at the feet of shoppers.

Lamar Johnson, a veteran food developer who left General Mills to join Bush Brothers as director of product development, “lamented that despite all the hype about health, ‘the majority of consumers have not grasped what it means to lead a healthier lifestyle, which makes it hard to justify development of healthier products as a profitable endeavor,’” Ad Age wrote.
KC's View:
Maybe it isn’t a question of consumers not buying into nutrition/health obesity concerns.

Maybe the industry just hasn’t sold these concerns right. Maybe the industry hasn’t communicated about them in an effective fashion. Maybe…just maybe…the food industry has been so busy serving as a conduit for products that it has forgotten its responsibility to be the agent for the consumer, and be not just a source of product, but a resource for information.