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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