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“Anything that touches the human body affects not only the body but also the spirit of the human being.”
Let’s relax for one minute and start to think in a lucid manner. Nowadays many of us become preoccupied about quality aspects of our lives in all senses: work-life balance, nutritional aspects, environment, hobbies, traveling and personal & spiritual development.
At the same time in our evolution we highly improve technology and develop online world as a reflection of our need for freedom of choices, travel mobility, information accessibility and multiplying our options in life. Technology became part of our DNA and right now, in every minute, our behavior is changing. We became demanding as our technology is asking for distinct, relevant and credible benefits of products.
Despite this unquestionable reality, surprisingly many of the food industry marketers are foolishly playing old games with consumers.
When we search for food, in order to fulfill QUALITY NEEDS we are surrounded by tremendous adds and labeling with amazing “natural”-“bio”-“eco” products. What does “natural”-“bio”-“eco” food claims really mean for us, as consumers? Nothing precisely, just a vague idea that this labeled product is the best in his category.
But what happens when consumer starts doing a basic research?
First he will reach Wikipedia, Google or YouTube to find a definition:
He will discover that “natural” labeled food has NO PRECISELY BENEFIT for him, is just a widely marketing term. The term is often assumed to imply foods that are minimally processed but the lack of standards in most jurisdictions means that the label or packaging printed with the claim “natural” ASSURES NOTHING for him. Nothing at all! So, marketers can print the claim “natural” even on the packaging of additives, and preservatives used for food production!
Going forward consumer will discover that a definition for “eco-food” and “bio-food” doesn’t exist! There is only a definition referring to “bio-products” which are materials, chemicals and energy derived from renewable biological resources but obvious nothing related with food.
I presume you are disillusioned, this was not what you thought when buying the last food labeled with “natural” or “bio”…. This was only in your imagination….“Solo un trucco”! (Only a trick!) as a famous expression from Oscar movie La Grande Belleza was said when a magician made the giraffe disappear…
How is this possible?
For ages, subliminal communication influences people and the most eloquent example is the permanent humanity confusion between “Religion” and “Faith”. So using subliminal communication it was a piece of cake for marketers around the world to play in their own interest “natural”-“bio”-“eco” claims and charge those products as Premium products!
They didn’t stop here. They improved the labels whit GREAT messages: “The flavor of your childhood”, “food or drink with flavor of”…name it you have it. Sure they can put any flavor on the food because today chemistry provides any flavors we want. Any! There is a fundamental difference between “the flavors of…” and the “real product”, but consumer will realize this sadly in a long run only …
And this is not all. Have you seen lately food packaging with familiar images: local people, animals and beautiful landscapes?
Anticipating the consumer’s attachment and positive evaluation for traditional products, they “dress” the “natural”-“eco”-“bio” products in “traditional costumes”. But when the consumer will read the label he will realize that the product is produced in mass-production factory and many times abroad, not in his own country. Traditional has no linkage with enormous factories or stainless steel pipes.
In the end, consumer finalizes his research (because he can!) and discovers what is the name of his “Imaginary Expectations” when he bought that “organic” food: ‘Organic Food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation.”
But usage of ORGANIC claim on the products is strictly regulated so you cannot use it on your packaging as you wish and when you wish! There are specialized bodies that periodically control your product process and give you the permit to use ORGANIC claim on your packaging.
Maybe I would have understood this primitive marketing tactics 20 years ago but nowadays this will look very stupid for both producers and consumers…
Marketers must understand that technology offers infinite information to consumer and creates an amazing BRIDGE for consumers to get what they really want and for organic food producers to reach its consumers. Technology CANCELS the previous paradigm when the only source of information for consumer is those fancy food ads. Today is consumer REVENGE TIME; as now they can constantly and publicly evaluate the products before buying and post-consumption.
The consumer has the power not only to replace quickly the food products with the competitor’s similar product but also to “substitute” the products of both producers. Being surrounded by junk and fast food, organic food sounds for some of us, a utopic dream. But as alternative energy accelerates despite the oil dramatic price reduction, nutrition movement (from QUANTITY to QUALITY) is one of those irreversible processes that humanity faces today.
In these circumstances, using the common sense, empathizing with consumers, creating quality products, using honest and credible claims will generate a fair experience for consumers; other way marketers and their brands will pay the price.
It happens right now in Europe!
Italy organic food recorded a compound annual growth rate of 12,3% between 2010-2015. Sales are continuing to boom, as more Italian consumers are willing to pay extra for better QUALITY food. Accordingly, organic packaged food in Italy is blossoming, recording double-digit growth in value.
What are the main trends?
The most important drivers are product expansion, increasing demand for premium, high-priced nutrition products, a consumer changing habits towards food. Consumers in Italy have started focusing more on healthy food, prioritizing QUALITY over QUANTITY, and preferring to buy less but more premium and organic food.
Economic, Social, and Environmental BENEFITS from Consumer Perspective.
Italian consumers want to get closer to producers, to their own community, and since they believe that organic products are healthier, sales have increased accordingly, especially for food that is produced by local producer and labeled ‘Made in Italy’.
Business Model Duplication – Romania
Taking into consideration, all the facts mentioned above, culture similarity, economic situation, landscape generosity I presume in the nearest future Romania will follow the same pattern! When this business model will be well understood by local organic producers and consumers will become familiar with it then it’s going to be only a question of time when the model will replicate nationwide.