Times Are Changing: Some of the World’s Biggest Food Companies Making Healthy Changes
Last year, major food companies lost around $4 billion in market share since consumers turning to fresh and organic alternatives. This shift has forced big food companies to reevaluate their product lines in order to offer more healthy choices.
America, which has long been touted as the land of burgers and fries, is gaining a new reputation as customers are increasingly becoming mindful about their health and nutrition. In response, food corporations have jumped on the bandwagon of what could be the beginning of a new era in food history.
Companies like Kraft, General Mills, and Chipotle, are among the few corporations that are working on healthy changes. These companies have already started making changes either in the form of ditching artificial ingredients or influencing healthier choices like banishing soda from their kid’s menu.
Here are some of the companies taking the right steps in providing healthy food options.
Kellogg’s has removed genetically modified ingredients off of its Kashi Golean cereals. As the demand for local, organic and fresh foods continues to grow, the company is working on reshaping and repositioning itself as healthy food advocates. According to Marion, professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University, the company makes billions of dollars, so the issue deals with the growth of market share instead of profit.
Nestle made an announcement earlier this year that it would be stopping the use of artificial flavors and FDA certified coloring from its range of chocolate candy products such as Baby Ruth and Butterfinger. The company is reformulating about 75 recipes to bring to market 250 products accompanied with a list of healthy ingredients.
Campbell’s launched an organic soup line earlier this year. According to Denise Morrison, Campbell’s’ CEO, there has been a profound shift in consumer’s preferences and priorities regarding food choices. Morrison also made a remark at the analyst conference that the company will be investing in “packaged fresh” foods.
The king of fast-casual dining, Chipotle set a benchmark when it took the genetically modified food off its menu. The entire chain of Chipotle restaurants is using non-GMO corn that is part of many menu items, including tortillas. The tortilla itself got a complete makeover when its ingredient list was greatly reduced from 11 ingredients to 4 ingredients.
Kraft has been doing a good job refocusing its marketing efforts. The company already has removed synthetic colors and artificial preservatives from its flagship Mac and Cheese.
Can Good Be Bad?
These healthier attempts from big food giants are admirable, but consumers can’t let healthy choices be an excuse to splurge in other areas. These healthier options will definitely benefit those with a wellness mindset. However, these kinds of “health halo” tactics can lead unknowledgeable consumers to underestimate their caloric intake while overindulging in these ‘healthy’ options. For example, a consumer is defeating the purpose if they choose low-fat chips and then order a double cheeseburger as the reward…
All in all, witnessing this ‘health’ shift driven by consumers is a great feat in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go. As a consumer, continue to be mindful of what you put in your body and always consider moderation even with ‘healthy’ options.
Reader – What are your thoughts on these health conscious company initiatives?