Monday, 5 November 2007

All Natural Ingredients

The Husband, it seems, is beginning to appreciate the joy of having a really good shout at a really bad TV ad.

He's talented too, especially at digging out any veiled misdirections and tearing them to pieces. His latest observation, levelled at the new Milky Bar ad, is the trend for food products to brandish the phrase 'All Natural Ingredients' as though it were definitive proof that the product must be really good for you.

It's a particularly brilliant piece of wordsmithery, as it invites the consumer aboard this train of thought; 'Natural = Healthy, therefore Milky Bar = Good For You' . Its predecessors 'No Artificial Ingredients', 'No Added E-Numbers' and the like just don't do the same job.

If you're not convinced, the following statement, from
Talking Retail, regarding the switch to 'All Natural Ingredients' might help:

'Responding to the growing market trend for permissibility in confectionery, Milkybar is the first major kids’ chocolate brand to make the move to all natural ingredients.

The change brings with it a number of benefits for retailers, and will help to drive sales by appealing to the increasing number of mums looking for more permissible treats for their kids.

In quantitative research, 98% of mums found the concept of Milkybar ‘made from all natural ingredients’ either very, or quite appealing, with 78% of mums either a lot more likely or more likely to buy Milkybar as a result (McCallum Layton, March 2007).

Whilst I'm all for getting rid of artificial ingredients and E-numbers, it does bother me that the 'All Natural' claim is being used as misdirection on a product that remains a fundamentally unhealthy choice because of its high sugar and fat content. It doesn't alter the fact that you're still better off giving your child a banana.

Still, you have to wonder how far this is going to go.

Are we about to witness an 'All Natural' renaissance of some of the horrors that regularly graced my grandad's plate?






All coming soon, to a '100% Natural' dinner party near you.


EmmaK said...

On a vaguely related topic I just read about a survey some scientists did about when you wrap any food, even a carrot in a McDonald's wrapper, kids will deem it yummy. So the way to go is to wrap the pig's liver in a McDonalds wrapper and the little terrors will hoover it up. Say, "I got it at McDonalds and I know how much you love McDonalds!"

Melissaria said...

Oh yes, I remember reading that one, it was really quite scary - I am dreading the day when my little boy starts to become brand-aware, and I have to go and reacquaint myself with the old Chicken Vein McNugget and Fries.

They don't smell as awful as my grandad's pig trotter dinners, but even so...bleugh!