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

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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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I am not saying that raw carrots are bad for us, but the fact is, to get full nutritional benefits from a carrot, it must be cooked. But if the promotional ads get kids interested in eating veggies, then I think it is a great thing. Report
Well, my problem with baby carrots here in Canada where I live is that the brands available are packaged with water still left in them and are starting to slime when bought. For that reason I stopped buying them. There must be some way to dry them off better before packaging. Report
I grabbed packets of carrots and ranch dressing last week when we were out and needing a pick up snack. Would have loved to have found a half pound bag to share instead of the pricier single packets.
But even so, it was half the price of one frappachino and lots better for us.If they can package veggies in grab and go containers, that would be great. (I wonder if I have carrots in the fridge?) Report
My son has been eating baby carrots for well forever and likes to eat them with salsa instead of chips. I love them too and prefer them over regular carrots since they are easy to eat and a great snack!. Report
I am just the opposite of someone else who commented; I don't like the taste of "baby carrots." To me they taste soapy and weird. I'd much rather have freshly washed and cut carrots. But -- if an ad campaign helps kids choose healthier snacks, that's great. It won't influence me. Report
None of that matters to me, but I think it will help kids be more interested in eating them. Won't work, however, unless parents buy the carrots for their kids. Hope the price doesn't increase! We always have carrots in the fridge for munching - I'd hate to have to pay more, just because the farmers want other people to try them. Report
Wholeheartedly support having fresh veg in schools instead of itos. If the packaging is eye-catching, it may attract some of the kids, but alot of them already eat carrots as snacks from what I saw at my son's daycare. Report
Personally I like the flavor of baby carrots over regular sized carrots.

There was a thing on the news the other night of a HS somewhere, I can't remember where, but they only sell little packages of baby carrots in the vending machines, 3 different sizes with 3 prices. They showed asking the kids if they'd buy the carrots over junk food and they said "Yes, they'd buy the baby carrots because they were cheaper". Report
While parents can make choices of the form the carrots come in, I don't know many moms that would mind their children asking for carrots instead of 'itos'. I think that any well-done PR campaign for raw vegetables and fruits being 'yummy' and desirable is a tool we can use to support our work to avoid having childhood obesity rates continue to climb. Report
The ads sound humorous. Hopefully the packaging doesn't increase prices more than the "baby-fying" processing already does. I generally prefer finding the slender younger carrots from among the regular carrots and only buy baby carrots when their sale price makes them equal or better than the regular ones. Report
I buy vegetables because I hate packaging. This new packaging looks like just more waste. I buy full sized carrots because they taste better and they are not wrapped in plastic. However, I do like the idea of marketing to kids and getting these in schools. That's something I could get behind. Report
If I want carrots I will buy them in any package or without package. Love Carrots Report
I love carrots, whether they are full size or "baby". Carrots were the first solid foods my son ate--- I hope he always likes them!!! Report
I buy my carrots full-size because overall it's cheaper (I then cut them into little "carrot sticks" for snacks). I probably wouldn't start buying baby carrots at the grocery store. I WOULD love to see them appearing in my vending machine at work, though! There's absolutely nothing healthy in there. Carrots would be very welcome! Report
I wish SparkPeople offered the option to "like" someone's comment - because KAITLYNSNAMMY, I would "like" your comment a hundred times if I could. Report
My daughter ate "baby carrots" until one day at the grocery she saw the "real" ones. Now that is all we buy - only we call them "long carrots" lol (she is 18 now and we still call them that!) Report
Oh for crying out loud! This is most definitely part of a business plan that is jumping on the good nutrition bandwagon. I would be more impressed if they were making this more of a public awareness campaign. *Someone* is going to have to pay for a $25M ad campaign and fancy packaging -- take a wild guess *who* that's going to be! Report
I am lucky...I live rurally - & very close to one of the largest carrot producers in Ontario. I also buy carrots in bulk for my, at this time of year, I can get wonderful, fresh carrots for very little money.

However, having access to really nice, REAL baby carrots (not machined) makes it impossible for me to buy them from the grocery store. The machined ones are just big carrots that have been made to look little.

Real baby carrots are wonderful - & really do meet the adverts...sweet & crunchy! A great snack! Report
I eat baby carrots often, and my grabdchildren love them. Report
Every day I have 85 grams of organic baby carrots with 1 oz. of low-fat blue cheese dressing as a dip, chased down with a low sodium V-8. Low cal. and very filling snack! Report
I am a sucker for packaging and would buy the baby carrots in a pretty, healthy looking bag rather than in bulk. I think they taste better than the whole carrots too. That's just me. I hope it catches on! Go Veggies! Report
I stopped buying the little carrots and just buy normal ones. The savings is immense. But I'm all for people eating healthy, so if this works, great for the farmers and great for everyone! Report
What about the recent report that says to cook carrots to get all the nutrition from them? Not to even steam them, but they need to be actually cooked. Raw is just the same as eating sawdust, nutrition wise. Fills you up I guess though.....
I'll stick to buying the regular kind though, you peel off any bad stuff. Report
Not fortunate enough to be able to have a garden except for a couple of tomato plants, and some strawberry plants planted amongst my flower beds. But I almost always buy the baby carrots. Easy, convenient. Just wash and eat. The regular ones are cheaper, but I live alone and the big bunch is just too much. I usually can't eat them fast enough before they go bad. I have that problem with a lot of foods. Ugh, they just don't make things in sizes for singles. I try to buy things and divide and freeze as much as possible and try not to waste food whenever possible, but sometimes I throw out so much unless I eat it to death. Baby carrots are just right for me. Their great to just munch on or cook with a little honey and ginger, yummy. Report
I don't know what affect this campaign will have on kids' eating habits, but that commercial in the video was hilarious!

- Karen Report
I think it's a great idea! Produce could definitely benefit from more visibility and positioning as a snack food. This type of thing appeals to children particularly. With the right promotion, we could actually have kids asking for them. It's too bad we can't put them in the chips aisle since they need to be refrigerated. Report
Of course it will help. Advertising is how the "itos" of the market place got to where they are...McDs, Burger K, and soda giants never give up and on and on and on.

Please excuse my obvious tone....not meant to offend just to make my point.

Advertising the carrots in every medium is key. And sure, it's all about the bottom line for the farmers, that's business. The other side of this, is a wonderful thing for the general population. A VEGETABLE is going to be mass marketed! Carrots, a part of more lunch boxes and more snack times. Imagine that. And they've been here all along. Actually growing! Growing in the earth's rich soil! Not a manufactured, chemical laden, sugar filled or coated, artifially colored or sweetened, unhealthy product adding to the obesity epidemic in this country. Produce. Carrots. Grown in the USA. Just imagine that. Report
If the flashy packaging and commercials make our children want to eat them then I say go for it. I honestly don't buy much "junk food" at my house but my kids still fight me on the veggies so if it helps kids want to try them then I am a supporter. Report
My refrigerator in never devoid of carrots. Our kids ate them I rarely bought candy. Our grandkids only like them with dip otherwise they do not eat them.
Even apple dippers have to have dip , kids are rarely experiencing REAL food and that is thanks to all the hype and advertising that other STUFF is healthy. Way too bad. Report
I admit I am not the fan of raw carrots my partner is but I use a lot of carrots. A basic mirapois as a foundation for soups, stews and other dishes requires carrots. In my opinion children will eat what they are given so if the "nasties" are not around then they will eat the "healthy stuff" By the way I make a killer carrot and coconut milk soup which can be served warm or chilled. Report
Advertising works - that's why we see it everywhere. If this helps promote a healthy food, I support it! Report
Since I'm usually crunched for time, the fact that baby carrots are already snack sized and in single-serving pouches is very convenient, so I buy them for that reason. On the rare occasion when I know I'll have time to chop big carrots myself, I'll buy some and do that. But, there have been several times when I bought the large carrots and didn't get around to eating them before they went bad because they weren't already washed and cut and easy to grab on my way to work. If I saw single serving packs of carrot sticks (simply chopped big carrots vs. whittled baby carrots), I would buy those instead. The ones I see are usually larger servings and mixed with celery (which I don't to eat often because the strings get stuck in my teeth--very inconvenient when munching at my desk). Report
This is an idea that should have been tried a long time ago! I look forward to seeing more carrots available! Yum, Yum! Report
More incentive for me to plan my own garden, cost of fruits and veggies are ridiculas, i will stick with farmer's market buys they taste better anyway! Report
more people will buy - it will be more for convenience for those who don't eat now it will give incentive to eat more healthy. Report
I think it will get people's attention and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if carrot sales went up a lot. We just bought multi-colored carrot seeds for planting this fall. I had some at a restaurant a couple of years ago and they were beautiful and fabulous tasting so I can't wait to join the carrot farmers of America! lol Report
I love carrots already. So I don't need any advertising for them! Report
I already eat baby carrots!! HEheee. A friend of mine on Facebook posted a video "junk food" baby carrot ad. It's funny, but reminds me of the movie "Idiocracy". Is that what this world is coming to? (LOL! Oh boy.)

I hope that the cost doesn't rise. But I do think that advanced marketing campaigns like this will work for children. I've seen the commercials that come on during kids' shows, and they're pretty disturbingly saturated with Pizza Roll commercials with lots of flash, and with plenty of insinuation that it's perfectly normal to eat a big old plate of pizza rolls as a meal (or worse - snack). There's one with two pre-teen girls that are RIDICULOUSLY skinny sitting on the counter talking about all they eat are pizza rolls, their favorite.

So, carrots, go get 'em!
Jocelyn Report
I love carrots, but I feel that "baby" carrots are a waste of money. I use the peelings of full-size carrots when I make soup, and "baby" carrots cost more per pound. Report
If flashy gimmicks get kids to eat carrots I am all about it. My 2 five year olds are swayed by what they see on tv and do not have a problem with advertising to motivate my children to eat their veggies.

Now, if that includes dip then not so much. Also, if the advertising is going to raise the prices of the carrots then I am not a fan. Report
I love the carrot ad I saw that says "Carrots - the original orange doodle". It is nice to see ads for something other than fast food - Hopefully it will reach a new audience of carrot eaters. Ultimately, it comes down to education for kids whether it be from parents, school or the community about healthy nutrition choices and how our bodies use and need certain nutrients. It is not going to help to say don't eat this or to remove certain foods from cafeterias or ads. Kids need to understand why so they can make their own decisions. The whole teach a man to fish thing.
About baby carrots vs. regular reading comments has got me thinking. I always just ate baby ones cause I eat a lot of carrots and other crudites and it was always easy. Now I'm thinkin I might switch over to the regular carrots. I never thought of baby ones as altered food but I may have to rethink that. Report
I love them. I eat them all the time as a snack. I hope it works as far as luring kids into eating them. Report
I like carrots, and prefer to buy the baby carrots because it saves me the time of peeling them. I won't pay more for fancy packaging. I buy baby carrots now in the plain clear bags when they're on sale and that's fine with me. Report
So when everyone is walking around with yellow tinged skin instead of cheeto dust on their fingers, we can give them the thumbs up. . .knowing they are eating the carrots!!!
I saw a post above, and it reminded me that I too used to love my grandparents carrots right out of the garden. I could hardly wait to go help my grandma thin them so that I could have the "baby" ones!! Report
Baby carrots are awesome!! I hope this campaign doesn't raise the cost, but if it does, I'm sure it won't be any more than we would spend on a quick snack from the convenience store. To maintain cheaper costs, just cut up your own. If you're scared of chlorine content... check this out... might change your mind! :


It is simply a rumor, yet another way to scare people.

Will you refuse to swim in public swimming pools because of the chlorine content? I mean, if you're worried about a tiny bit that might be in a little carrot, aren't you worried about submersing yourself entirely in a much higher concentrated substance? You might absorb it through your skin or, "Oh no!", you might even swallow a little. If it would kill you, it wouldn't be allowed in public pools. Common sense, people!

Not trying to cause conflict, just showing you the other side of the spectrum! :) Report
One of my favoite childhood memories is getting fresh carrots right out of my grandparents garden I hope the carrot thing works and people will learn how to enjoy then as much as I do. Report
Kids are going to eat what kids are going to eat. If they don't like what you packed in their lunches, they are either going to do without if they have no money or buy what THEY want. There's no way on this planet that you're going to convert a bunch of junk-food junkies to healthy snacks and nutritious thinking overnight.

If their friends think it's "trendy" then the kids will do it. If their friends think it's "geeky" then the kids won't do it.

Unless you home-school, strictly control who your children have as friends and get the television out of the house completely, they're going to see all the ads and hear all about the "cool" stuff and leave the "good for you but not so cool" stuff in the dust.

Just my two cents. Report
I would buy baby carrots if I didn't know how they were made. Pressed together from the 'rejected' regular carrots and then washed in chlorine so they keep their color in the bags. I always used to wonder why the carrots went white once you opened the bag....the chlorine makes them turn white.....
I haven't eaten one since. Report
I think it may help us finally understand whether kids (and kids in adult bodies) choose junk foods because of the ads they see on tv, print media, packaging, etc. or because they like junk foods... Report
Well maybe they wouldn't be there number one choice every time but it would be great to see the option! If it would win over even a few percent it would be worth it! PLUS I would love to see them popping up in vending machines in hospitals etc. Would be a welcome addition! Report
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