“Fast food chains spend a large amount of marketing to get the attention of children. People form their eating habits as children so they try to nurture their clients as youngsters.”-Eric Schlosser
“You can take a 2 pound bag of sugar, and slap a label on it that says “100% fat free,” and while factually true; this is unbelievably misleading” -Jason Vale
“Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need” -Will Rogers
 What Marketers Want: Currently, everything is marketed to some degree. Products are marketed. Services are marketed. They get advertised in many forms: radio, commercials, written ads, posters/ banners, demonstrations, trade shows, etc. Marketers and advertising agents WORK HARD to gain your attention. Once they gain your focus, they tell you what they want you to hear: “buy this”, “use that,” “switch to us.” Thier main goal is to get your business and make you a loyal customer.
What Consumers Want: Consumers want different things than marketers. Basically, we all have needs or wants that need to be satisfied. Each customer has differing wants and needs. For the most part, consumers want CONFIDENCE AND HONESTY. They want products and services that meet or exceed their expectations and match what is promised by marketers. When it comes to food, consumers want safe, tasty, and unaltered foods. They want foods that are “non GMO”, “all natural”, “fat free”, “gluten free,” “guaranteed to help lose weight”, etc. They also want foods “low in fat”, “sugar free”, “low in calories”, or even “organic.”
 Claims to Question: The trouble is, most marketing terms do not have a standard definition. Marketing, labeling, and advertising is a creative and artistic aspect of business. Therefore, it is open to interpretation. Marketers use keywords and hot topics to gain consumer’s trust. Many food manufacturers develop their food products by switching out ingredients to satisfy these claims. Sometimes, they add harmful or unhealthy ingredients in their place. Therefore, it becomes difficult to know what you are actually getting. Here is a short list of claims to be cognizant of:

  • fat free
  • gluten/ lactose free
  • diet/ sugar free
  • 100% organic
  • low in calories
  • all natural

Pay Attention Here: Instead of trying to interpret the claims on the front of the packaging, use other information to determine your grocery options:

  • The Nutrition Facts Label companies are required by law to include all nutrition facts about a food in detail
  • Minimal Packaging: most of the time, foods with less packaging tend to be high quality nutrition foods
  • Minimal Ingredients: Foods with a low number of ingredients are less altered
  • Ingredients you can Recognize: If you can’t read an ingredient, it’s probably an artificial chemical and does not benefit you

These are definitely just an example. Please share any other claims to question or tactics to identify healthy foods below! As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

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