Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"Take a Peak" to take consumers for a ride

The three leading trade associations in the processed food sector, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the Food Products Association (FPA) [GMA and FPA are now one and the same]; and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) have teamed up with MatchPoint Marketing to roll out Take a Peak in grocery stores across the US to convince us to eat according to the 2005 Dietary Recommendations for Americans and MyPyramid.

This thinly veiled marketing ploy is being touted by the media as a program to help consumers; where "consumers will find aisle banners, kiosks and other displays in stores that will help point them to fare that is consistent with the dietary guidelines."

As Sally Squires writes in the Washington Post, "The new displays will help put the government's message in front of shoppers as they roll their carts down grocery aisles."

Oh goody!

A quick review of MatchPoint Marketing's website page "about" tells us exactly what to expect, "If commerce is the engine that drives our economy, then MatchPoint Marketing is the spark. We ignite demand. We take consumers by the hand and lead them toawrd the ultimate goal - making the cash register ring."

This isn't a small, trial-it-out campaign, it's well designed to completely overwhelm the senses - in stores you'll be innundated at every turn with aisle banners and signs, kiosks, tip cards, floor graphics, shelf signs pointing to products, manufacturer displays and even custom bags at the register check-out.

Repeat the message often enough and it becomes truth; overwhelm the senses at it can happen at lightening speed.


  1. Yes unfortunately, the susceptible minds will be drawn right into the food pyramid folly, with all those flashy signs and kiosks.

    For those of us who know what works best, I figure all those "grain" signs will just make it easier to avoid them!

  2. "the ultimate goal - making the cash register ring."

    (Preferably with high margin junk)

  3. Were the marketing companies the ones who wrote "take a 'peak' and was that a deliberate misspelling? Or did they do it on purpose? Peak/peek. Methinks someone needs to go back to freshman English. Unless it was deliberate.

  4. Anonymous1:18 PM

    Regina, I appreciate your healthy skepticism when grocery marketing groups team up to help promote a particular paroduct -- or class of products. But in this case, it appears to me that these organizations are taking a responsible step toward informing consumers about better food choices.

    Is there something that you find inherently wrong in the advise of the 2005 Guidelines? And do you have any evidence or suspicion that the objective of the campaign is not related to better nutrition habits?

    Thanks, Mark