Energy, 100% natural, whole grains, vitamins, fresh, whole foods, artisan, healthy! Have you ever seen any of these marketing terms in grocery stores or fast food restaurants before? It is nearly impossible to visit a grocery store or fast food restaurant and not see these marketing terms thrown out there on all sorts of different food items. But are these products really what they’re made out to be? Or are they in fact just tricky marketing terms manipulating you the consumer? To sum it up simply, they are 100% marketing terms and you should use discretion with products that have those terms on them.
One of the top marketing terms that I see is the word “natural.” Often people confuse the term organic with the term natural when in fact they are vastly different. Essentially if a product has the word natural on it, it is anything but natural.
As you can see by the above image, there is a vast difference in the make up of a product that is organic versus one that is natural. Organic is tightly regulated by the FDA whereas natural is not.
Artisan is a term that has recently become very popular among food labelers. However, the FDA has no regulation for the term artisan leaving me to scratch my head. However, artisan cheese sounds so much more distinguished and upscale than just cheese so it’s easy to see why the marketing term works. If you’re reading this, you may very well be guilty of buying an item thinking you were getting a healthier version due to one of these marketing terms such as artisan.
Companies are smart. They know that people want to eat healthier so they manipulate you with marketing terms to eat the same poor, quality food with healthier types of names. So the next time you’re at the grocery store or fast food restaurant, don’t let the packaging fool you. If you truly want to eat healthy, avoid items with these terms and instead opt for healthier choices. Eat lots of vegetables and locally sourced organic food. And, as always, beware of marketing terms!
-Dr. Brian Damhoff