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Interesting piece in Advertising Age about how the food industry is obsessed with concerns about how the government could begin to regulate what the industry says and who it says it to.

One example: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued “compulsory requests for information from 44 food, beverage and quick-service restaurant chains this summer. The goal is to get a ‘more complete picture’ of their kid-marketing practices, especially in the unplumbed arenas of in-store promotions, events, packaging, internet marketing and product placement in video games, movies and TV programs.”

In addition, Ad Age writes, “Going after companies individually cranks up the heat on marketers like McDonald's and Coke who have already been feeling plenty. Though the food industry has scrambled to rein in efforts targeted at young children and dedicate at least half of advertising to older kids toward more healthful offerings, politicians and pundits aren't pleased enough with the industry's collective effort.”

The general consensus seems to be that time is running out for the food industry, and that it is almost inevitable that the government will step in at some point and mandate changes that will go beyond current voluntary marketing standards.

To give a sense of the level of concern, here’s a quote from Coca-Cola Co. Chief Creative Officer Esther Lee: "Our Achilles heel is the discussion about obesity. "It's gone from a small, manageable U.S. issue to a huge global issue. It dilutes our marketing and works against it. It's a huge, huge issue."
KC's View:
We agree. Government intervention is inevitable.

This is an enormous opportunity for traditional supermarkets, however. Because offering a wide range of healthy choices to families ought to be their sweet spot.