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Opinion Piece

Of Shifting Eating Habits and the new codes of food advertising


For better or for worse, ads have been influencing our choice of food brands as well as how, when, how much, and what we eat for more than a century. So much so that some would declare breakfast the most successful marketing campaign ever. Because believe it or not, orange juice, eggs and cereals weren’t really what breakfasts were made of before the advertising industry decided to propel them onto most every kitchen table!

And this applies to most of the food choices we make throughout the day. For decades now, supermarket shelves have been oversaturated with food that harms us and the planet. And what has been helping these products make it into most every shopping cart is marketing, sticky ads, and eye-catching branding.
This means that for the longest time, creatives and strategists found themselves in a tricky spot when working on products that are detrimental to people and to the planet’s wellbeing.

The good news is that the food industry is undergoing a positive and exciting transformation.
With all the new alternatives and an evolving understanding of healthy foods and the impact of our consumption on our bodies, wellbeing, soils, seas and the quality of the air we breathe, it’s safe to say that we have reached a new creative era.

Where persuasion – and let’s face it, a tiny bit of manipulation – were the tools of the past, today’s consumers are better informed than ever. Today, you aren’t just what you eat. Rather what you eat eats, where it’s grown, how it’s shipped, and the impact it leaves on the ecosystem we are a part of.

Therefore, it is through accompanying and educating on shifting eating habits that the creative industry will play its part in helping tomorrow’s food brands make it to shelves, online carts, plates, and diets. This role in shaping consumers’ attitudes to products and services can thus be used to do good by choosing to adopt new, more authentic codes.

Approaching this new chapter of our collective food story with openness and curiosity means we will be able to bank on the essence of communication and bring about the change that is needed to guarantee a more mindful and sustainable future on our planet. Best part of it all is each and every person working on a food project will get to widen their professional and personal horizons by engaging with these new, groundbreaking brands.

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Feb 2022

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