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Big food companies urge consumers to eat less

GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Posts: 7,630Member Member Posts: 7,630Member Member
usatoday.com/story/money/2016/04/25/why-food-companies-are-telling-you-how-much-to-eat/83228810/

Major food companies are experimenting with different sizes to hedge against the demise of processed food.

Are they doing this for our betterment or theirs do you think?

Are many people really moving away from processed food to whole foods?
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Replies

  • pie_eyespie_eyes Posts: 13,148Member Member Posts: 13,148Member Member
    pebble4321 wrote: »
    I think they are fighting every way they know how to hang on to their customers as there is an increased health awareness in the community. If they can get some people in (or back in) the door feeling as though they are making an OK choice for themselves and their family, then they are winning.

    Clearly it's just another marketing strategy, to present themselves as the good guys, and cashing in on the more health conscious people in the community.

    So, to answer your question - absolutely for their own betterment, specifically for the betterment of their financial situation.

    I think they're fighting maintain a good image

    When it's obviously a lie
  • snowflake930snowflake930 Posts: 2,193Member Member Posts: 2,193Member Member
    It is to keep as many consumers of their products as possible. Maybe trying to convince more of the people that are more nutrition conscious. The serving sizes are already posted on the packages, people can read, but many choose not to, I didn't read nutrition labels prior to MFP. Bottom line for them is money. Smaller sizes doesn't mean that processed foods are any better for you.

    As yarwell said, many people don't know (or want to learn) how to cook. Convenience of packaged foods and fast food is the norm. Perhaps the schools should have mandatory nutrition classes and cooking classes for students.
  • Pinkylee77Pinkylee77 Posts: 432Member Member Posts: 432Member Member
    usatoday.com/story/money/2016/04/25/why-food-companies-are-telling-you-how-much-to-eat/83228810/

    Major food companies are experimenting with different sizes to hedge against the demise of processed food.

    Are they doing this for our betterment or theirs do you think?

    Are many people really moving away from processed food to whole foods?

    Not where I live. The local Walmart has more frozen processed meals then veggies fresh and frozen combined. People will still eat way too much processed food. Too many do not know how else to eat. If you go to an area where there is poverty you will see lots of processed foods being eaten. When I tell my cancer patients that hot dogs and bologna does not count as protein (for the purpose of treatment) they act like I told them there is no Santa. We encourage a high protein low simple carb diet. Most don't get it.
  • WinoGelatoWinoGelato Posts: 13,331Member Member Posts: 13,331Member Member
    I think the move is definitely to capitalize on the "clean eating" movement similarly to Panera's rebranding efforts last year. I also think that the miniaturization of the food products could increase profitability, they may make higher margins on the small products than they do on the value sizes. Depends on how they price these new items.

    I'm curious about this Mars initiative to label some of their products as "occasional" foods, since they specifically say candy bars won't get that label but mention some of their other products like ready rice and pasta sauce. Why would pasta sauce or rice need to be a caution, "sometimes" food?
  • JruzerJruzer Posts: 3,318Member Member Posts: 3,318Member Member
    As I've said before, they can feel which way the wind is blowing.
  • alyssa_restalyssa_rest Posts: 276Member Member Posts: 276Member Member
    I say if they're doing it for themselves, who cares. It's also helping me. In a country that "supersized" everything a few years ago, I think it's refreshing to see more portion control even in large, overly processed companies.
  • yarwellyarwell Posts: 10,573Member Member Posts: 10,573Member Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    I think the move is definitely to capitalize on the "clean eating" movement similarly to Panera's rebranding efforts last year. I also think that the miniaturization of the food products could increase profitability, they may make higher margins on the small products than they do on the value sizes. Depends on how they price these new items.

    I'm curious about this Mars initiative to label some of their products as "occasional" foods, since they specifically say candy bars won't get that label but mention some of their other products like ready rice and pasta sauce. Why would pasta sauce or rice need to be a caution, "sometimes" food?

    Their pasta sauce is very high in salt esp if being used as a staple for kids.
  • ReaderGirl3ReaderGirl3 Posts: 868Member Member Posts: 868Member Member
    rhtexasgal wrote: »
    It is to keep as many consumers of their products as possible. Maybe trying to convince more of the people that are more nutrition conscious. The serving sizes are already posted on the packages, people can read, but many choose not to, I didn't read nutrition labels prior to MFP. Bottom line for them is money. Smaller sizes doesn't mean that processed foods are any better for you.

    As yarwell said, many people don't know (or want to learn) how to cook. Convenience of packaged foods and fast food is the norm. Perhaps the schools should have mandatory nutrition classes and cooking classes for students.

    I think my family is totally outside the norm because not only do we cook virtually every day at home and eat family meals together, for the most part, they are all whole foods. Yes, we do a little fast food but it is very satisfying to hear both my teenage boys tell that they would rather eat at home that the "crap" at X Restaurant! Because they are homeschooled, their nutrition and cooking "classes" came from me and the Boy Scouts!

    Almost 10 years ago, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I was so bad off, both of my boys were convinced that I would die because I had to "sleep" at the hospital for over a week. After I got home, they were so worried about me so I gave them a "project." At 7 and 4 at the time, I did not hold out much expectation about the project. However, I told them that I had to eat healthier foods and gave them ingredients that I should and should not eat. They took that list and went shopping with their dad and came home with foods that were healthy and that I could eat. It took them over 3 hours in the store but they were bound and determined to help me. That started our household eating healthy movement. They learned how to shop smart and cook meals. They read food labels. Do we occasionally eat crap? Absolutely because sometimes you just have to eat a bag of flaming hot cheetos. However, it is not part of our every day life. Maybe my boys are the exception to the rule because they are homeschooled or because I had a life altering health event. Who knows? What I do know is that they like to cook and shop for food and they are rather "mouthy" when they see advertisements that try to present food as good for you when they really aren't. They actually have fun at the local farmers market where we buy most of our produce.

    I was home schooled all the way through and learned about 'nutrition' from my obese mom :p So I'd peg it more on the health crisis. My mother-in-law has completely changed her diet after cancer. I'm doubtful that the changes are actually doing anything special, but in her mind they are so who am I to argue with her- her body and her life. If eating organic now makes her feel better about herself than there's positives in that alone.

    edited for clarity
    edited April 2016
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 19,972Member Member Posts: 19,972Member Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    I think the move is definitely to capitalize on the "clean eating" movement similarly to Panera's rebranding efforts last year...

    I saw a sign at Panera about "clean" and have been meaning to look this up. Here's what it means to them:

    https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/articles/what-does-eating-clean-mean.html

    ...“We’ve made a commitment to remove artificial additives from our menu before the end of 2016,” John says, further explaining that the pledge means taking out any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners from any food product made or served in a Panera Bread location. The goal: a cleaner menu.

  • queenliz99queenliz99 Posts: 15,358Member Member Posts: 15,358Member Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    I think the move is definitely to capitalize on the "clean eating" movement similarly to Panera's rebranding efforts last year...

    I saw a sign at Panera about "clean" and have been meaning to look this up. Here's what it means to them:

    https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/articles/what-does-eating-clean-mean.html

    ...“We’ve made a commitment to remove artificial additives from our menu before the end of 2016,” John says, further explaining that the pledge means taking out any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners from any food product made or served in a Panera Bread location. The goal: a cleaner menu.

    All I know is, next time someone asks in the forums what clean eating is, I'm going to say a nutty chocolate chipper cookie and a vanilla latte... Since that's what I get at Panera...

    Actually, now that I think about it I'm curious. Does this mean that Panera will no longer offer Diet Pepsi and other drinks with artificial sweeteners?

    Mind blown!
  • BecomingBaneBecomingBane Posts: 3,648Member Member Posts: 3,648Member Member
    Publicly traded companies are done with baby boomers and gen x and gen y. With millennials on the rise, they need to adapt to a changed consumer base to keep their shareholders happy. And that includes Big Food. Everything is changing, from insurance to banking to food.

    This is exactly the truth. I work in foods and the one thing I hear more often than any other is the change in trends toward whole food, organic, and processed items deemed to be healthier than others. The market is shifting in that direction evidenced by some recent acquisitions by big players in the market gobbling up smaller, less widespread competitors to Whole Foods. In most cases they aren't changing the little guys, they are bringing the processes in use by the smaller "healthier" grocers into their big chain philosophy. The change is fairly apparent in certain parts of the country, and will spread as market trends do.

    Yes, it's good that they are making positive changes, but they are doing it because it's the most recognizable route to continued profit, it's recognizable, it's able to be analyzed and predicted, and it's marketable in highly successful ways.

    *ETA: When your cube is in earshot of the largest meeting room in the company, you hear a lot of interesting stuff.
    edited April 2016
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    I think the move is definitely to capitalize on the "clean eating" movement similarly to Panera's rebranding efforts last year...

    I saw a sign at Panera about "clean" and have been meaning to look this up. Here's what it means to them:

    https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/articles/what-does-eating-clean-mean.html

    ...“We’ve made a commitment to remove artificial additives from our menu before the end of 2016,” John says, further explaining that the pledge means taking out any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners from any food product made or served in a Panera Bread location. The goal: a cleaner menu.

    All I know is, next time someone asks in the forums what clean eating is, I'm going to say a nutty chocolate chipper cookie and a vanilla latte... Since that's what I get at Panera...

    Actually, now that I think about it I'm curious. Does this mean that Panera will no longer offer Diet Pepsi and other drinks with artificial sweeteners?

    Yeah, I've been joking about this for a while, since there was a huge Panera/clean eating billboard on the street right near my office since around the time I became aware of "clean eating" as a thing (due to MFP). I never go to Panera, though, because I like some other closer options better (this is nothing again Panera -- I'm quite stuck in my ways re purchased lunches). I'm willing to bet real money they aren't going to stop selling diet soda, however.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    Publicly traded companies are done with baby boomers and gen x and gen y. With millennials on the rise, they need to adapt to a changed consumer base to keep their shareholders happy. And that includes Big Food. Everything is changing, from insurance to banking to food.

    This is exactly the truth. I work in foods and the one thing I hear more often than any other is the change in trends toward whole food, organic, and processed items deemed to be healthier than others. The market is shifting in that direction evidenced by some recent acquisitions by big players in the market gobbling up smaller, less widespread competitors to Whole Foods. In most cases they aren't changing the little guys, they are bringing the processes in use by the smaller "healthier" grocers into their big chain philosophy. The change is fairly apparent in certain parts of the country, and will spread as market trends do.

    Yes, it's good that they are making positive changes, but they are doing it because it's the most recognizable route to continued profit, it's recognizable, it's able to be analyzed and predicted, and it's marketable in highly successful ways.

    *ETA: When your cube is in earshot of the largest meeting room in the company, you hear a lot of interesting stuff.

    Well, isn't Millennial just another name for Gen Y? In other words, the generation born between 1980 and 2000? And any sensible food seller that aims at a general market SHOULDN'T be done with Gen X (the ones around me are not, and I live in a nirvana--heh--for "whole food" sellers), and the crowd at the greeniest green market in Chicago is decidedly Gen X. Given buying power, this is not surprising.

    Anyway, I do agree that of course it's driven by perceived profit, just as the less healthy trends were. That's what capitalism is. The market demands what it does. I like that healthy trends have some power now and like that companies are responding. (I also have no problem with gov't requirements like labeling.)
  • z8limbedfighterz8limbedfighter Posts: 4Member Member Posts: 4Member Member
    Sugar is your enemy for fat loss. The more you spike your insulin through the day and the more sugar that is in your food, will block your body from using fat as a fuel source. That being said these companies didn't change the product, only there recommendation of how much you should consume. Even with smaller portions the sugar in the food will still inhibit your body from using fat stores. Ideal fat loss is achieved when sugar or carbohydrates is maintained at a level of 5-10% of your daily nutritional value. Around 30% should be proteins, this will sound counter intuitive, but the remainder of the macro nutrients for your body should be fats. Fat is insulin neutral and healthy for you. If you do this it will send your body in a state of ketosis. This basically means that your body is no longer receiving its fuel from "sugar" stored in the liver but rather almost exclusively from fat stores. To conclude, if the food is processed, comes in a pouch, or a little package and your goal is weight loss, do yourself a favor and spit it out. These companies are not on your side, they just want your money.
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