|The Branding Impact of Eating Butter Again
By: Cindy Wendland
The June 23rd TIME magazine cover story is called “Eat Butter: Scientists labeled fat the enemy. Why they were wrong.” This story highlighted that when Americans were told to cut back on fat to lose weight and prevent heart disease, it appears to have been misguided. Scientific experts are saying our low-fat options have hurt us more. This could have huge branding implications for many companies.
Butter is a fat we were told to avoid and use margarine and other lower-fat substitutes instead. “The anti-fat message went mainstream and [became] so embedded in modern medicine and nutrition that it became nearly impossible to challenge the consensus.” Research is now showing that butter is OK (in moderation) and healthy fats are indeed healthy for us. What does this mean to all those marketers that labeled their products low-fat and low-calorie and marketed them as healthier options? It means that the trust factor will be called into question. Companies will market low-cal, low-fat foods as good alternatives or healthy options, but the message may be called into question. This has huge ramifications for your branding strategy.
It turns out that Americans ate more calories by eating low-cal foods and obesity and Type 2 diabetes became commonplace. This is because we just didn’t understand blood chemistry — what our food is converted to in our bodies. The dean of nutrition science at Tufts University says that to our bodies, a bagel is no different than a bag of Skittles. That really shakes things up.
The bottom line of the TIME article is that people should be focusing on the quality of real food. Those marketers that can demonstrate quality while highlighting the natural goodness of their products will be the winners in the “eat fat again” movement.
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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