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The Extreme 'Baby Carrots' Ads: Will They Work?

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/14/2010 12:01 PM   :  134 comments   :  15,461 Views

Last week, Coach Nicole sent me a link to this video. That morning, I had driven past a large orange billboard near our office. "So what if our name doesn't end in 'itos'?" it read. As I drove past, I also caught a glimpse of the words "baby carrots."

After a bit of research online, I learned that Bugs' favorite treat is getting an extreme makeover. "An alliance of 50 carrot farmers is investing an initial $25 million" to market the crunchy snacks. A big-name advertising company is creating splashy billboards, TV, social media/online ads, and new packaging that will make carrots look like junk food. Plus, they plan carrot vending machines in schools. The push to make carrots the No. 1 snack in America isn't only about our waistlines. It's also about the bottom line: The farmers hope to double the $1 billion carrot market in the next couple of years or so, according to the Associated Press.

The carrots have a Facebook account, Twitter feed and a homepage, upon which they say:

"A BUNCH OF CARROT FARMERS™ is made up of, well, a bunch of carrot farmers. Our mission: To get folks to eat more carrots. Then get their friends to eat more carrots. Then get their friends' friends to eat more carrots. And so on and so forth, until carrots are the official favorite food of everyone, everywhere.

"Powerfully crunchy. Subtly sweet. Gloriously versatile. Mischievously addictive. Perfectly orange. What more could you possibly want in a food? Nothing...the answer is nothing.

"If you fancy yourself a loud and proud Carrot Farmer — whether your harvest yields one pound or one million — join the crusade to make carrots the most demanded and universally loved food on earth."

That leads me to some questions…



Does the flashy packaging matter to you?

Will you be more likely to eat baby carrots--really just big carrots whittled to a diminutive size--than you are now if they're in clever packages?



And will the cost at the supermarket rise?

Right now, a pound of organic baby carrots is $1.99 at my supermarket; conventional ones run between 99 cents and $1.99, depending on the week. (Conventional carrots cost 99 cents to $1.23 a pound in bulk.)

What effect do you think this will have on kids' eating habits? Will kids be more likely to reach for carrots if there's a hardcore marketing campaign behind them?

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Comments

  • 84
    I grew up near the largest carrot producer in the nation. They invented baby carrots and it was genius! They took culls (carrots not pretty or damaged) and ground them into little, peeled carrots. That probably saved the carrot industry. Busy moms don't have time to peel carrots. (LOL). Seriously, I use them all the time. They are handy and available. I think packaging them like chips isn't going to put junk food out of business but its a great offering. Ever been on jury duty? The only thing in the vending machines is junk. I would have LOVED having baby carrots as a choice. My daughter puts them in her boys lunches with ranch dressing made with fat free greek yogurt. They love them.
    PS: I don't think organic baby carrots are coated with chlorine. - 9/15/2010   9:21:25 AM
  • 83
    Well, baby carrots are a kid friendly food. I think it's a pretty good idea. Why not market veggies the same way junk food is marketed ? If there are enough commercials and billboards, maybe more people will eat and enjoy their veggies.

    Of course, baby carrots aren't really baby carrots. They're a marketing invention. Still if kids eat them, then that's a good thing. - 9/15/2010   9:06:59 AM
  • 82
    As much as I despise buying convenience foods, I do buy "baby" carrots, then package them into individual serving baggies so I can toss them into my lunch bag. As long as I have them in the house, I'll have them at least five days a week. I've loved carrots since I was a child, but the convenience of them already being washed and peeled is one of a few conveniences I will pay extra for. - 9/15/2010   9:05:17 AM
  • 81
    Maybe it's the brand of Baby Carrots we buy, but I only buy Baby Carrots and we think they are delicious! - 9/15/2010   8:58:45 AM
  • 80
    I admire the carrot farmers for making such a bold move - very ingenious. However, it is my understanding that the baby carrots are washed in a chlorine solution prior to packaging. It is understandable why it is done, but I do not buy them for this reason - it also leaves them tasting "odd". - 9/15/2010   8:55:21 AM
  • 79
    Alright, what time does the farmer's market open? All this talk about how good the fresh, bigger carrots taste from a farmer's market makes me want to give them another try! - 9/15/2010   8:48:14 AM
  • 78
    ... I can't grow doritos in my garden...

    So I'm growing the new fad food....carrots. - 9/15/2010   8:38:44 AM
  • 77
    I love carrots. We are the same as sunny and only eat the regular ones. In the summer we plant them in our garden. - 9/15/2010   8:36:46 AM
  • 76
    We love carrotts - regular carrotts, not the baby carrotts.

    To us, they do not taste as good. - 9/15/2010   8:35:45 AM
  • 75
    Personally, I prefer regular carrots to the "mini" ones. I think they have more flavor.
    As for advertising carrots as a great snack.. I love it. I think it's wonderful that carrot farmers are coming together to promote their product. The companies that produce salty, buttery, additive-loaded foods spend TONS of money on advertising! Isn't it nice to think that together, carrot farmers might be able to get some exposure and endorse their healthy alternative?

    Still, I'm always a bit concerned where money is concerned! I will continue to buy carrots, but, I'll be buying the standard-sized, organic carrots (being roots, they easily absorb chemicals and pesticides from the soil).

    I do wish the farmers luck, though. Our farmers could benefit from similar programs by bonding together and pooling their resources. (Think Florida Oranges). - 9/15/2010   8:21:17 AM
  • 74
    Our grand kids all like them and it's a good item for grandparents to keep on hand. I have not noticed any ads about carrots anywhere? - 9/15/2010   8:06:37 AM
  • 73
    I suppose the ads may work for some people. Personally I've stopped buying "baby" carrots once I found out what they were. Even when I still bought them I noticed they turn either slimy or mummify quickly and a lot of them ended up in my compost. That's a pretty expensive way to build your compost! I prefer the large carrots, especially fresh at the farmers' market. - 9/15/2010   7:47:55 AM
  • 72
    Our family tradition has always been to have fresh veggies in the front of the refrigerator shelves. It helps! Gosh I pray that parents put things like this in the front of the refrigerator too. Leave the chips, cookies, cake, and candy on the shelves for others to add to their waistline! This campaign will work if parents also snack on veggies and use themselves as examples of good eating patterns. - 9/15/2010   7:47:31 AM
  • 71
    My family and the child I keep love the baby carrots. I do buy them for the convience. We eat them for snacks. Of course Kieren has to dip his in Ranch Dressing.
    I would be nice to see fruit and veg in the vending machine instead of junk food. I am lucky that I always pack my snacks when I leave home so I always have healthy snacks. - 9/15/2010   7:32:36 AM
  • BAYSIDE07
    70
    I travel a lot and baby carrots or carrot sticks are perfect for flights. They are fine withour refrigeration for a couple of hours and they have the chew-and-crunch factor that makes them a nice snack. - 9/15/2010   6:59:04 AM
  • 69
    I quit buying baby carrots. They look nasty most of the time. I do love carrots though and buy the regular ones - less processed & taste so much better. Love them raw, love them cooked! - 9/15/2010   6:43:08 AM
  • 68
    To me, carrots are a terrific snack! My kids take them in their lunches, too! I used to buy baby carrots, but when I learned that they are simply cut down (with a lathe- no lie!) I stopped buying those. It may take a little longer to peel "regular" carrots, but I can cut carrot sticks just fine and it doesn't bother me. The ends and peelings go into the compost near our garden! I know buying baby carrots is convenient ( and healthy!), but for me personally, I will grow (and buy if I have to) "regular-sized" carrots to have on hand. - 9/15/2010   6:29:05 AM
  • 1BOOMBALATTY
    67
    Sorry to disappoint all of you, but carrots are one of my least favorite foods.
    I can hear you all groaning out there. - 9/15/2010   6:27:33 AM
  • 66
    1) My husband and I love the taste of crispy, fresh, raw carrots.

    2) Our kids also love raw carrots. (We started them as babies on natural foods and "adult" foods - simply pureed in a food grinder - and they have loved them ever since. No commercial baby food for us!)

    3) Carrots are an appropriate and healthy low-calorie dog treat - and our dogs (like most dogs) appear to love carrots, so we also buy some of those so-called "baby carrots", making dog treats very easy and quick to distribute.

    4) Organic carrots in our area are better-tasting than non-organic, so we happily buy those when we can (plus they are healthier for us, with less pesticides.) - 9/15/2010   6:16:26 AM
  • 65
    I love carrots! If the convenient packaging makes more people love carrots - Great! Though I know the "baby" carrots are just regular ones cut down in size, I love their convenience. When I have extra time I do buy the carrots that need to be peeled & chopped.

    It's way better than a snack size of chips or other junk! - 9/15/2010   6:13:39 AM
  • TOMNJERI
    64
    Want a great tip to keep those carrots fresh longer? Put them in a container and cover with cold water, put in fridge. Will stay fresh for quite awhile. ( I got this tip from my produce guy at the supermarket!) - 9/15/2010   5:28:46 AM
  • 63
    What a clever idea! Only because it is healthy food doesn't mean it has to look boring. - 9/15/2010   4:42:45 AM
  • LIVINGONMYTERMS
    62
    If I want "baby" carrots I will pull them out of the ground before their ready. It is bad marketing in my opinion. Why buy baby carrots when you can just buy a bag of regular carrots and cut them to the size you want and put them in a ziploc bag or something? The only way I could see them as being beneficial in any way is if they were packaged for vending machines. - 9/15/2010   2:01:59 AM
  • 61
    I can see where this might work with some kids, if they are young enough. I think I may have the only kid to ever throw a kicking, screaming fit in the store because the price went up on asparagus and I couldn't afford to buy it. I think she was 2-3 years old then. She still loves her veggies and her oldest is going to be much the same. Got so very excited that there were peas ready in the garden!!!
    - 9/15/2010   1:46:39 AM
  • 60
    The ONLY way I could get my children to eat Baby Carrots or veggies, was to put a SIGN on them in the refrigerator that said " DO NOT EAT - MOM'S DIET FOOD" and of course, they and my husband HAD to eat them! - 9/15/2010   1:43:52 AM
  • LUNARA7
    59
    Did you ever try to find out, how old a carrot is by the time it is peeled, shaped and washed in chlorine, sitting in a fancy package containing phtalate, waiting some more days in your fridge before it gets eaten? How many vitamins do you think are left by then?
    Why not enjoy the atmosphere of a farmers market, buy organic carrots directly from the grower, do the washing yourself and skip the peeling? You will never touch the bland, boring stuff from the supermarket again!
    And by the way, children learn from peers, so YOU can set an example. - 9/15/2010   1:41:31 AM
  • 58
    My kids actually prefer the big carrots. We've gotten a lot of weird (black! fingery!) "baby" carrots, and they are actually kind of squicked out by them.
    Big carrots rule! I love that my kids will JUMP on the chance to nosh on a big carrot, when offered.... - 9/15/2010   12:28:22 AM
  • 57
    I already love carrots. Raw and steamed, in soups and grated in salads. They are inexpensive and taste great. My kids and husband love them too. - 9/15/2010   12:11:06 AM
  • 56
    I buy both the reg. and baby carrots at our local 99 Cent store. I think kids would eat more carrots if they were put in their lunches. I use to cut them for my kids and they liked having them to trade with other kids who never got too many vegtables. - 9/14/2010   11:47:49 PM
  • 55
    Try carrot chips if baby carrots get boring. It keeps me away from potato chips too. - 9/14/2010   9:11:57 PM
  • BRUTALPOODLE
    54
    I LOVE carrots!!! I used to buy the baby carrots because they were convenient, but then realized how much cheaper it was to buy regular carrots so now I buy those. I peel them and cut them into chips and put that in a ziploc for a nice little snack.

    I actually DO like the idea of carrots in vending machines though! It's nice when healthy things are more available like that - 9/14/2010   8:09:45 PM
  • 53
    Kids being kids, I don't think they'll be fooled into thinking carrots are the same as Cheetos. Good luck to the farmers! - 9/14/2010   8:07:14 PM
  • BUNKY7
    52
    I love baby carrots & I think it's great they're making this push. - 9/14/2010   7:46:03 PM
  • 51
    I like the baby carrots that come pre cleaned and ready to use. I guess I am just lazy. But I do like to eat them. - 9/14/2010   7:44:56 PM
  • 50
    I like the baby carrots that come pre cleaned and ready to use. I guess I am just lazy. But I do like to eat them. - 9/14/2010   7:44:54 PM
  • NINJA_SMOO
    49
    I prefer proper carrots. They taste bettter and they're crunchier. - 9/14/2010   7:27:05 PM
  • 48
    I think the packaging and advertising will help to entice children but I think it won't phase adults. - 9/14/2010   6:06:01 PM
  • 47
    If you fry carrots it brings out their natural sugars, it gets really sweet! A great contrast with garlic in pasta primavera!
    - 9/14/2010   6:03:33 PM
  • 46
    I thought I say a billboard for baby carrots on I-75 near my house, too! :-) I think it's rather clever!! - 9/14/2010   4:37:39 PM
  • 45
    Totally awesome!!! - 9/14/2010   4:37:33 PM
  • 44
    I don't like baby carrots because I think they taste like soap. I would much rather buy a bunch of carrots at the farmers market and cut them myself. I also put them in stir fry and crock pot meals. If this is what it takes to make the average American junk food addict child to eat carrots then I suppose it isn't a bad thing unless they raise the price of carrots, and I wouldn't be very happy about that! When I was in school I would have been so happy to have a package of baby carrots as a snack in the vending machine. We had an apple machine and I used it almost every day. - 9/14/2010   4:24:51 PM
  • 43
    Carrots are a mainstay lunch item in my household - couldn't care less about the packagaing.

    I know baby carrots aren't really baby carrots - but I do like being able to grab a handful of carrots and not have to scrape, clean, or cut them before I can nibble! Ultimate in lazy - but . . . - 9/14/2010   4:24:22 PM
  • 42
    I don't care about the marketing. I wish they'd spend more of that money making carrots taste like carrots. Homegrown are so much more flavorful! - 9/14/2010   4:22:08 PM
  • 41
    If they are sold as "baby" carrots, tehn it is false advertising.. baby carrots are only those that are picked when tehy get to a certain length and breadth, tehn arepulled.

    I hav ebeen growing carrots for ove rfifty years and they NEVER looked liek that!!
    Packaging is the last thing I see; facts and weight, price,, nutrients are what I seek..
    If I had no hands to scrup and peel the roots, I may consider them, but even I can do that, and I have carpal tunnel and arthritis.. - 9/14/2010   4:18:10 PM
  • 40
    I really don't think the packaging will make too much difference (unless they put Scooby Doo on it then my son'll wolf it down lol), but I am super glad that they are going to put them in vending machines in the schools. I have to bring my snacks to work every day, because there are never really any healthy alternatives. It was the same in school too. - 9/14/2010   3:55:08 PM
  • 1THING
    39
    we already love carrots and will eat them raw or cooked, marketing will have no impact on me. - 9/14/2010   3:49:46 PM
  • 38
    I think it is a great idea! I know I am somewhat prone to packaging, the more neutral and less junky looking the better, but A LOT of people like flashy junk food packages, particularly kids. If a kid can have a snack pack that looks cool with carrot sticks and not over processed artificially colored cheese puffs, and still hold out as a cool kid at the lunch table, well go for it!

    Carrots are underrated. Go carrot farmers! - 9/14/2010   3:40:52 PM
  • SUGARSMOM2
    37
    YES I HAVE HEARD THAT THEY TAKE BIGGER CARROTS AND TRIM THEM DOWN TO PASS FOR BABY CARROTS . NOW THAT IS LIEING TO ALL OF US . NOT WHAT THEY SAY . - 9/14/2010   3:23:58 PM
  • 36
    After reading this article and the comments, I'm going to start buying whole carrots and cutting them the way I want them. I doubt veery much that the advertising will interest children to eat more carrots -- only the parents can do that, in my opinion. I love carrots, but the packaging is totally irrelevant. - 9/14/2010   3:22:09 PM
  • PROPMAN1
    35
    Can you eat too many carrots? Would think it would be like everything else - there is a limit. - 9/14/2010   3:05:10 PM

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