Nutrition Marketing That Gets by Giving

You should definitely use your brand to help people during natural disasters, and as Kraft demonstrates, during a prolonged government shutdown. These things are kind — and they result in consumer loyalty. But why wait? Make every day a way to give something MEANINGFUL to your consumers and see how much you get in return.

Skeptics will look at what Kraft is doing (and what I’m doing by writing about it) and say, “Oh, they’re just trying to get people to buy more of their products.” I say, “So what?” We’re all in the business of persuading consumers to buy our stuff, which means we’re all looking for opportunities to stand out.

And thankfully, opportunities like this don’t come around every day. So while Kraft is putting itself out there to help an estimated 800,000 people/families affected by this government shutdown — and now, asking other brands to pitch in, what could this awful situation teach every food brand about what — and to whom — to give back?

#1: Give directly — I just saw a stat: 70% of people in this country live paycheck-to-paycheck. How can your brand help that situation? Do you band together with other brands to create food scholarships for people in your community?

#2: You’ve earmarked a sizeable portion of your budgets to samples. Should you carve off a percentage and send some of that product to local food banks? You’d be astounded at the number of working people who need to rely on help to stretch their budgets. Yes, those people could become customers and it’s good PR. Besides, since your product is so awesome, why wouldn’t you be using it to help people eat a little better?

#3: And my big one: Go beyond the product and help people understand what the heck to eat to get their bodies to behave. Somewhere between half and two-thirds of people are overweight. What can your brand do to simply help people lose weight? Here’s a lay-up — the vast majority of people eat too much carbohydrate. And yes, based on that paycheck-to-paycheck stat, it might be because carbs are cheaper than protein. So show people how to balance their carb to protein intake without breaking the bank. Beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and canned fish are all really inexpensive — maybe you start telling people to eat these foods at every meal.

In the meantime, Kraft is awesome and I’d just like to say thanks.

Think this article’s off-the-top ideas are remotely good? Think what we could do in a whole day. Email me at if you’d like a copy of my marketing tools one-pager (that’s actually three pages).

And if you’re still not sure what to do, let’s chat.

Be digestible. And thanks.

Eric Kiker: Speaker

Author of The Digestible Brand: The Secret Sauce for Marketing Nutrition to the Confused Consumer

Agency Principal/LRXD

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