Consumers reject natural Trix

Even the box looks drab

You can lead a kid to natural colors, but you can’t make her eat them.

I frequently feel like a nutrition outlier.  I’m all for wholesome food with limited processing and additives.  But I also feel like people have to make their own choices.  I’m sick of self-appointed holier-than-thou Food Nannies nagging consumers about the foods they eat.  The Nannies must have plenty of friends and sympathizers in the Main Stream Media, who are happy to bombard us with negative scolding messages about bad foods, along with cheery fake news about how:

  • Everyone is eating healthy.
  • Everyone is looking for natural foods.
  • Everyone shuns junk food and artificial ingredients.
  • Everyone is gluten-free.
  • Everyone eats only organic.

Well, maybe “everyone” in their tiny circle of group-think acquaintances and co-workers.  Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing if you want to generate fake news.  Conflicting ideas and facts are not allowed to penetrate the closed circle.  You can make up and believe whatever you want.  Which made it all the more gratifying to read the recent headlines:

Original Trix With Artificial Colors Is Back After Customers Revolt

Consumers loved ‘all-natural’ — until Trix cereal lost its neon-bright glow

Two years ago, General Mills made a big splashy deal out of removing the artificial colors from Trix Cereal (known for it’s bright colors) and replacing them with healthy-sounding natural vegetable dyes (same amount of sugar by the way).  Customers revolted!  “Change it back!” one said.  The dreary vegetable dye colors were deemed “depressing”.  One consumers described the natural Trix cereal as “a salad”.  General Mills was deluged with complaints from  “natural ingredient haters.”  Who knew there was such a thing as a natural ingredient hater?

In fact General Mills discovered what I’ve been telling you for years: people talk a good talk about making healthy choices, but when the rubber hits the road, they choose what they want to eat.  And by the way, consumers are especially likely to give the “right” answers in surveys about health behaviors; they want to sound like good health-conscious people.  Formulating food products based on the assumption that Everyone shops according to the mainstream definition of healthy is not a winning strategy.

The Trix fiasco is just another example of the false assumptions made about health behaviors.  False assumptions promoted day after day in the Main Stream Media.  I see screaming headlines about how consumers are eating nothing but healthy food, demanding healthier choices, reading labels, blah blah blah.  Then I go to the grocery store.  There’s an entire aisle of chips.  An entire aisle.  There’s a 10′ X 10′ wall of Pop Tarts.  There’s another even bigger wall of colored gelatin dessert mixes.  Most of the meal and energy bars are pure junk — sugar-coated, loaded with candy bits and sugar sweeteners, while labeled with health halo words like “Nature” and “yogurt” and “oats” or the tiresome “no high fructose corn syrup!”  There are 2 entire aisles of soft drinks.  Someone is buying this stuff.

Some friends remarked that they’d been in the grocery store one afternoon recently and noticed a bakery worker re-stocking the fresh doughnut display.  They thought re-stocking that late in the day was a silly idea.  Who eats doughnuts in the evening?  He told them he has to re-stock 3-4 times EVERY SINGLE DAY.  People are eating a lot of doughnuts.  Even the ones with unnaturally colored sprinkles.  I’m confident that if you surveyed these doughnut-eating people about their food choices, they’d claim they were buying nothing but natural healthy whole foods. Such as whole doughnuts.  Take that, Food Police!

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