As the new school year gets underway, Bolthouse Farms and nearly 50 other carrot growers are launching a $25 million marketing campaign to endear their product to school kids as a lunchtime temptation. Though baby carrots are a $1 billion industry, sales have stalled after years of steady growth and the carrot cabal wants to muscle in on the $18 billion-a-year market for salty snacks. Will its strategy — packaging carrots in "Doritos-like" bags, billing them as "the original orange doodles," and selling them in vending machines — persuade kids to pass up junk food for vegetables?
Just wait. Marketing can work miracles: The carrot growers mean business, says Kyle Munzenrieder at Miami New Times. To make their case, they've hired "everyone's favorite crazy" Miami-based ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the same crew that's sold Americans on Burger King's "cheap dead cow meat patties and oily potato slices." If anyone can make the lowly baby carrot seem "'extreme' and 'sexy,'" it's CP + B, the "modern-day Don Draper."
"Crispin Porter + Bogusky will make baby carrots 'extreme' and 'sexy'"
Nice idea, but it won't work: We'd all be better off if we ate "less fattening snacks," says Tom Barlow at Wallet Pop, "but we didn't become a nation of wide-bodies for no reason." There's nothing wrong with a "snappy little carrot," but it just can't compete with the more seductive Cheetos. Even though the marketing geniuses are trying to package the two orange foods identically, children aren't going to fall for this sneaky "substitution."
"$25 million to fool kids into eating baby carrots instead of Cheetos"
Nutrition alone should sell carrots: Some good might come of this if it "gets more parents to put carrots in lunchboxes and more kids to eat carrots," says Robin Shreeves at Mother Nature Network. But the notion that it takes a marketing campaign to convince parents to nourish their children suggests that we've "lost the fight to control" what our kids eat.
"Carrots get a marketing campaign"