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Why we need real whole food marketing- "growing trust"

One of the biggest ironies of our modern eating habits is the billions of dollars spent each year at the grocery store known as Whole Foods. The money spent there pales in comparison to the $33 billion dollars spent each year on food and beverage advertising. Just 6% of that 33 billion gets spent on whole foods like meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. That’s because in the status quo there is little incentive to promote whole foods, even though they are better nutritionally.

Two key reasons:

  1. There is no processing step, no “value-add” for industrial processors
  2. It is hard to brand whole foods.


We aim to fix that with foodtree. Instead of a processing step, we make it easy for food producers and distributors to communicate their values. The who, what, where, why and how of the work they do. And, by making it easy to meet and interact with the farmers, fishermen and gatherers themselves (at a minimum see who they are), foodtree facilitates storytelling and branding for whole foods.

Most eaters want to know more- 77 percent of consumers want more information about the content of the food products they purchase, and 76 percent would like more information about its origin. 74 percent are willing to dig deeper and seek more data about how the food products are grown, processed and manufactured. (source- IBM Survey)

Beyond the desire for connection, knowledge and understanding, the issue is potentially one of life and death for many eaters.

Barbara Kingsolver explains the importance of getting this right, “it takes a farmer to understand the analogous truth about food production — that time and care yield quality that matters — and explain that to the rest of us. Industry will not, but individual market growers can communicate concern that they’re growing food in a way that’s healthy and safe, for people and place. They can educate consumers about a supply chain that’s as healthy or unhealthy as we choose to make it.

That information doesn’t fit in a five-syllable jingle. And those growers will never win a price war either. The best they can hope for is a marketing tactic known as friendship, or something like it. Their task is to communicate the consumer value of their care, and how it benefits the neighborhood. This may seem like a losing battle. But the “Buy Cheap Eats” crusade is assisting the deaths of our compatriots at the rate of about 820 a day; somebody’s bound to notice that. We are a social animal. The cost-benefit ratios of neighborliness are as old as our species, and probably inescapable in the end.”

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