Thursday, November 3, 2011

Corporate "Encouragement" of Healthy Food: Disney's new strategy

I was just reading a blog post about advertisements and noticed she mentioned Disney's practice of branding fruit. I decided to investigate and found the Posts' report about the good business sense Disney is making by distancing itself from branding junk food.
This was several years ago, but I just became aware of it. Not having children, I've never noticed cartoons on my apples.
Like it or not, the concept is totally genius. Disney is nothing if not savvy. You can find now a wholesome page on their website that explains their commitment to the nutrition of children. Of course, we all know it's because they saw market trends shifting away from sugar cereal and french fries and jumped on the prosperous grocery industry. But for a change of pace, a corporation is making a popular decision that makes everyone happy and it is increasing their profits, but overall feeding something to children that will most likely help them be healthier.
The argument against this behavior is the unsettling feeling that someone is making money off of manipulating your children. However, Disney is a huge machine and will find a way to make money or not, and too much back lash could lead to Disney candy bars, where there moral fiber of the industry is not as high. 
Disney seems to even be avoiding the issue of contributing to monoculture by offering over 250 products and partnering with already existing growers.  Of course, corporation touching growing is never ideal, but until everyone is willing to live on dried and canned food that was grown locally all winter, it's a losing battle.
Baby steps.
The biggest relief I find in this is the corporate response to consumer sentiments. We are wanting better, healthier, fresher food. They are not responding the way I would like them to, but it is a response. It's a small shift. Slowly, perhaps, we can all learn to wean ourselves from corporations altogether, but that is a paradise I cannot hope for anytime soon. Overall, I am pleased by the influence that the natural movement is currently having, and hope the momentum continues, however slowly.