Nutrition Marketing That’s Less Evil in Every Way

There’s never been more competition in the “healthy snacking” space. That means, you need to be truly, honestly different — from your story to everything that backs it up. Lesser Evil has some lessons for you.

I LOVE Lesser Evil Paleo Puffs — especially the “No Cheese” Cheesiness variety. Apparently, lots of people feel good about every variety of the brand’s miraculous grain-free extrusions, since, whenever I arrive at what’s become my favorite Whole Foods facings, it looks as though some enormous, puff-loving creature has taken a swipe through the entire set.

And the good goes so far beyond the stuff in the package. So pull open a bag and let’s dig in to everything that makes Lesser Evil so much less evil:

  1. Their story goes beyond what’s become trite (albeit true) and commoditized storytelling — “I couldn’t find _____, so I created it.” Come on guys, you’ve got to go beyond. Lesser Evil does — they started out to make everyone’s favorite snacks healthier and they provide a great story of adaptation and metamorphosis, from some pretty cheesy-looking (pun) early packaging and SKUs to where they are today. Like other brands, most notably Wilde Brand, they weren’t afraid to change to get where they wanted to be.
  2. They’re radically transparent about what they’re trying to do — even asking forgiveness for having to source some of their ingredients internationally. Who does that? Well, you should if you’re not. Open that kimono and gain some belief and loyalty.
  3. They’re not afraid to compare themselves to other brands trying to blow it by you under the guise of being, “healthier.” Take the gloves off.
  4. They’re not too big for their britches. The owner, Charles Coristine, puts himself front and center. If I ever have a problem with the product or what the brand is doing, I know who to call — and I get the feeling he’d talk to me.
  5. Especially on Twitter, they’re not just relentlessly selling — they’re letting people in on what they believe in. Giving away knowledge is a fantastic way to turn customers into loyalists. Walk your talk, to be super dork-corporate about it.

Given all that (which is a lot), where could Lesser Evil go from here?

  1. Just one tip: to these guys, “Ingredients mean everything.” I’d love to see the brand apply this mantra to way more than just what’s in the bag. For instance, the drum I relentlessly beat is, people do not know what to eat to get their bodies to behave. What would happen if Lesser Evil created a program called, The Ingredients of a Better Day and helped people eat well, not just with a snack, but with every meal. Talk about macronutrient balance. Give sample menus to help people put together meals and days that will help get the results (weight loss, mostly) 70% or so of us are looking for. And perish the thought, what if many of these meals didn’t include the brand’s products? Heresy? Or loyalty?

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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