By E.J. Schultz | May 25, 2015
This rather unappetizing statement was tucked into a request for proposals recently sent to ad agencies: “Most of our food supply comes from factory farms, is dependent on GMOs and chemicals, and is not sustainably grown or raised.”
The inflammatory language sounds like the typical musings of a fiery activist ready to take on Big Food. But it actually came from the Kashi brand owned by industry giant Kellogg Co. The brand is seeking ideas to “re-establish our identity in the natural foods movement.”
The RFP, which was recently obtained by Ad Age, is a small but telling example of how the food industry has been shaken from its core, forced to reinvent itself in the face of shifting consumer demands. Families once reliably heaped their plates with products such as Stove Top stuffing from Kraft Foods, Hamburger Helper from General Mills and Kellogg cereals, along with similar products from other processed food titans. But now those consumers are increasingly migrating to smaller, upstart brands that are often perceived as healthier and more authentic.
Quite simply, big brands are losing one of their most valuable assets: consumer trust. And the fight to regain it will shape the industry for years to come.
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