96% of people say they want to eat “healthy.” But, they’re actually baffled about what that really means.
My belief: food brands could fix the problem. This all comes from the personal: In 2011, I started a journey that’s maximized my diet and wellbeing. And now, I’m combining that learning with my marketing chops to help brands win at shelf and create consumer loyalty. Enjoy.

Nutrition Marketing with Heart and Soul

With all the competiton in the natural channel; with all the authentic brands getting gobbled up (and in many cases, ruined) by Big Food, it’s never been more important to make your consumers FEEL something. BeeFree gets that part, and other parts, right.

The folks at BeeFree reached out, asking if I’d like to try their products — what followed was a BIG box of their Warrior Mix and the offer of more. Could my miniscule blog help them? I don’t think they really cared — maybe they were simply being, as their name suggests, sweet. The story is authentic and human. Jennifer Wiese’s oldest son had just been diagnosed with Autism. And while these kids are said to be “on the spectrum,” I’d imagine Jennifer and her husband were too — on an emotional spectrum between disbelief and desperation. Jennifer decided [...]

Nutrition Marketing Without All the Suffering

If you want people to truly understand (and yes, love) your brand, find a unique story that creates an advocacy position for your consumer, connect that story to everything you do and suffer a whole lot less to succeed.

Let’s get a little boozy with Sufferfest, a line of beers that’s different because they’re “Celebrating Athletes.” Great line. First, it says exactly who the brand wants to be for. Secondly, it says it’s for athletes who are celebrating super hard workouts. So what’s Sufferfest doing really well? They know why they started this brand, and who they started it for. When you put your consumer at the center of the story, you make people feel special — people like that. They have specific reasons to believe. Their beer is “Crafted to remove gluten.” They likely know a lot [...]

Marketing Nutrition Needs a Strong Story at the Core

You have a passionate mission, super-clean ingredients and a diverse product portfolio. You need to wrangle all that into a cohesive, well-explained story or what’s the use?

I noticed something new — and in a way, old — yesterday at my Whole Foods. Core Bar from Core Foods. I’ve known this brand for years, but only for their Core Meal, which was for the longest time, the only brand sitting next to Perfect Bar. I wanted to know more about the story, so I grabbed a bar and started digging in. What I found was a combination of cool, curious and confusing. All adding up to a “C” for Core. First, what is the brand doing well, from a story perspective? They have a great name [...]

Nutrition Marketing That Uses Its Noodle

We eat way too many carbs and not enough of those carbs are made up up vegetables. Cece’s Noodle Company is helping to solve both those problems — how can your brand help further solve this issue?

Some put it at two-thirds, others say 70%. I’ll estimate the whole thing down and say, more than half of us are overweight or obese. End of story.Could brands like Cece’s Noodle Co., be the beginning of a new story. One in which we get our carbohydrate consumption under control? One that features people eating more vegetables, which offer a host of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, life-saving, waist shrinking properties?I sure hope so. Because I’ve been fat and it sucks. Now that I’m the fittest I’ve ever been, the two-part success I can point to is, getting my carbs balanced with my [...]

Taking the Junk out of Nutrition Marketing

Part of gaining loyalty for your food brand involves having a clear mission on behalf of your consumers — if part of that mission is helping people eat better, take a look at what SnackNation has done, and apply those lessons.

The mission of some food brands is laser-focused. Enter SnackNation, who states it very clearly: “We got started with this crazy idea of making healthy food more convenient than junk food, and we’ve been on an epic ride ever since.” Perfect, especially when so many offices feature the old, boring source of super-junky-junk food — vending machines. If you don’t already know, SnackNation curates healthier snack foods for a ton of brands they personally vet, boxes it all up and sends it to your office (or home). Simple. My office has been a subscriber for around a year and it’s great [...]

Nutrition Marketing That Puts Some Skin in the Game

If you really, truly, passionately believe your food or beverage product offers a big benefit to people, go all in, take the consumer’s side in a big way. And watch interest grow into fervor.

I try to do double duty with these articles — be super respectful toward someone’s life’s blood while offering suggestions that might help their brand and yours. But this time, especially given Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides is a cow-based product, I might just step in it. Here goes. We’ve come a long way since “glucosamine.” You know, the stuff that was supposed to help our joints get some young back in ‘em. RIP old school, long live Collagen Peptides. New, better, sexy name and the promise of additional good stuff for hair, skin and nails — all kinds of [...]

Marketing Your Nutrition Brand like a Family

If you created your food brand out of a personal need to help people, why market to them like strangers with wallets? Give everything the family touch, then keep that family together.

I know, really I do — you started your brand because you wanted to fill a need for people. Maybe you started out by filling your own. You shared your new passion with friends and, yes, family. Everything was loving and glowing and personal and altruistic — and then, you decided to ruin it all by becoming a marketer. Bill Keith, oldest brother of many and CEO of Perfect Bar (I put the first thing first for a reason) has not ruined it all — at all. Instead, he, along with his siblings, teammates, investors and maybe even you [...]

Nutrition Marketing That Turns Lemons into Lemonade

When you’ve found the passion that drives a great brand story, don’t dilute it. Instead, let it be a part of everything you do, internally and externally.

Go to super-simple lemonade brand 4P's homepage, read the long version of founder Will Boyle’s origin story and you’ll get a passionate taste for what this brand is all about — saving forests and saving people from overly processed, garbage drinks (and food). It’s a good tale, told from the perspective of a boy who became a man who wanted to do better for humans and nature. In fact, when I asked Will to tell me the essence of his brand in one sentence, he responded, “4Pure was born from a simple commitment to do good for all by [...]

A Nutrition Marketing Story That’s a Damn Good Catch

Even if you don’t have a disruptive food product, Good Catch is a great example of how to get on message, educate confused eaters and cast the widest possible consumer net.

“Fish story,” in case you’re one of the four people who don’t know, is a euphemism for stretching the truth. I guess because fisher people are famous for enthusiastically overestimating the size of their catches. And while I’ve never caught a fish of any length, I can spot the branding equivalent of a fish story a nautical mile away. This brings me to Good Catch, a company striving to create and market a line of plant-based foods that look and taste like seafood. Should you follow their example, or swim the other direction? Follow. Really, seriously follow. These guys [...]

Nutrition Marketing That Wins by Zagging

Your brand has so many competitors — but you can beat them all by finding a point of difference that leads to a story that leads to repetition and differentiation.

Plant-based foods are all the rage — especially burgers. Why? Because everyone loves a burger, and vegetarians and vegans feel super left out when all their buddies are mowing away while the plant eaters are relegated to, what, a salad? Double burger without the burger? And the plant-based burger was born. And what’s the holy grail of the plant-based burger? You got it, the plant-based burger that’s just like a beef burger! Enter Good Seed Burgers. They’re apparently pretty good — but a look at their store locator says, they’re pretty darn small. Why? Maybe they don’t really truly [...]