They’re out. People are talking about them. But do consumers really care?
Roughly 30 hours have passed since the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released and Google is now pulling up over a million articles that have been written about them. Just thinking about the volume of media makes my brain hurt. And then when I try to actually navigate the Dietary Guidelines interactive document, my brain hurts even more.
But kudos to the USDA and DHHS for taking a broader view by focusing on dietary patterns and moving away from nutrients. We need more of this. We eat foods (not nutrients) in patterns that vary considerably between individuals, cultures, life stages, etc.
Here’s my rub with the Dietary Guidelines: they come across as being complicated.
I have been thinking a lot about “complication” with regards to marketing, and specifically food marketing. It’s a problem. We are dishing out way too much information. We know that attention spans are shorter than ever (don’t worry, I’m already working on trying to wrap up this blog post).
We—food marketers, health professionals, influencers, the media, policy makers, etc.—need to simplify. Edit. Pare down the details. Get to what matters. And inspire. Because let’s face it, nutrition often isn’t an inspiring topic, but food IS.
There are millions of articles being written about the Dietary Guidelines and they have a fancy interactive site. But at the end of the day, do consumers—eaters—ultimately care?
I don’t think they do.
Consumers have moved on. They are tired of the debate. They’re taking the matter into their own hands—making individual decisions about what “healthy” means to them. Consumers are defining “healthy” in a very simple way: back to the basics with an emphasis on quality—whole foods, short ingredients lists, foods with a story that can be understood and embraced.
So let’s meet them where they are—it’s not a bad place! It’s where common sense, enjoyment, and sensibility peacefully coexist.
We’ll be talking about simplicity and what it means for food marketers a good bit more over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!