December 23, 2011 Leave a comment
I’m sure you’ve all passed by a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Wild Oats, or any other grocery store specializing in organic foods. Even if you haven’t seen one chances are your local grocery store is selling products that can be found at organic grocery stores. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but even as recent as 10 years ago I don’t remember a whole foods existing let alone having two of them in a five mile radius of my house.
If you look at the ingredient listings on much of their food you’ll find that it’s not going to magically help you shed twenty pounds. Eating a box of Trader Joe’s delicious cookies “Jo Jo’s” is not that much different than eating a box of Oreo’s.
However, there’s mantra surrounding organic food that it will make you feel better and more natural. That’s the catch. In one of the most successful marketing campaigns since Jared’s advocacy of the Subway diet, Whole Foods and other organic grocery stores have seen huge amounts of growth. I’d like to think that these establiahments are examples of good old American capitalism.
I can’t help but think though that in some ways these companies had outside help along the way. Conspiracy theorists look away because that’s not what this article is about. Instead, let’s take a loom at one of the most powerful forms of media, the documentary film.
Documentaries always are more impactful than feature length films partly because they touch on tangible issues through a personalized lens. Watching a doumentary is somewhat akin to watching a professor act out a lecture. They’re both incredibly informing and entertaining.
With notably documentaries like, “Supersize Me,” and “Food Inc.” gathering much praise in the past decade, it should come as no surprise then that Whole Foods and friends saw a huge spike in business since the beginning of the millenium. Focusing on the abnormalities and inconsistencies within the food industry, these types of documentaries leave viewers wanting their food to be free of anything that is not natural. Or in other words, organic
That’s the buzz word my friends. Trader Joe’s and Co. were able to take the image of organic natural food and run with it. By slightly raising your prices over other grocery stores and branding your products as natural and healthy, you’re able to leave the consumer with the impression that they are making the smarter decision.
Whether organic grocery stores intended to develop this image is one thing, but it is hard to deny that their success didn’t benefit from outside sources.