Tag Archives: nutrition

The Mother Road yields a mother lode

On the ground in Tulsa less than three hours and already there are exciting food marketing revelations in this town along the Great American Highway. After a tasty and filling early dinner at Pei Wei, it was off to Wild Oats to see the latest products and brands of natural and organic food.

The decidely neighborhoodly feel of Wild Oats was complemented fairly naturally, if you will, by the 365 brand a la Whole Foods. It is amazing how seamlessly even private-label brands can assimilate with other stores following mergers and acquisitions.

We also encountered some really special brands. Some new. Some familiar. They all have something to teach us about a topic we touch on a few posts ago: It’s better to be first than better.

Exhibit A: Pet Food

This brand takes it to an all new level. It says, “It’s not about taste, it’s not about health, it’s not about all-natural ingredients. It’s about wellness, Mr. and Mrs. Cat Owner. A holistic approach to food your cat deserves.”

It’s an “everyday” brand of cat food, but one that promises the all-around, no-compromise lifestyle your cat expects. After all, you expect to be able to “indulge” routinely on a moment’s notice without having to sacrifice health or convenience.

Your feline friend should get the same treatment. Wellness cat food promises just that.

So for being the no-compromise brand of cat food for unpretentious, yet discerning kitties, Wellness wins the Get Your Kicks Award in the pet food category.

Exhibit B: Beverage

The market is flooded with tea of all varieties and brands nowadays, and teas promising medicinal and antioxidant effects are among the most popular.

So what is a brand of tea to do? Obviously “first” has been claimed long ago by Lipton, Nestea, Republic of Tea and HonestTea, among others.

The beauty of innovation is that one can be first by creating a category or sub-category, staking out a unique position and value proposition.

GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha Muli-Green tea has established a convenient bottled, refrigerated tea for the serious imbiber determined to replenish and rejuvenate everything from digestion to immune system to healthy skin and hair.

It’s all thanks to the power of a “handmade Chinese tea that is delicately cultured for 30 days. During this time, essential nutrients form like: Active Enzymes, Viable Probiotics, Amino Acids, Antioxidants and Polyphenols.”

Those attributes appeal to tea and health aficionadoes, along with a price of $3.99 for 16 ounces that separates the serious from the casual. GT’s Kombucha, you win for taking tea to a whole new level.

Exhibit C: Snack Food

This one is proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks. For a long time, Terra was the first and only exotic vegetable chip.

Recently, the latest iteration of the health food craze has spawned other vegetable chips, along with regional chip-makers, kettle-cooked chips and other “gourmet” offerings.

This new bag of snacks from Terra is called Stripes and Blues. Just in time for the dog days of summer, it’s a break from the brand’s traditional taro chips and other mainstays. These chips are also seasoned with sea salt, leveraging another popular item. What’s more, they have zero trans fat.

All this to say that the brand is always looking for brand-appropriate product line extensions to stay ahead of intruders into its market space.

Terra Stripes and Blues demonstrate that even if you’re first, you still have to stay fresh. So they’re the King of the Road in snacks.

What is your favorite brand of yogurt and why?

What yogurt gets your tastebuds poppin’ and your energy level hoppin’?

Use the comment link below! We want to know.

The scoop on Vivanno

The Banana Chocolate Blend is tasty. The blend of the two flavors is nearly perfect. The consistency is very smooth, somewhat viscous, but not quite as much as panna cotta. It goes through a straw quite nicely.

The Starbucks store was all decked out, complete with writing on the windows and sidewalk chalk drawings heralding the arrival of the new “nutrition blend.” Free samples for everyone!

For four bucks, it’s a great lunch or a filling breakfast drink, but the Spoon probably won’t stand up for this flavorful concoction when it comes to marketing and merchandising.

It seems a bit “me-too” at a time when the company is supposedly getting back to core values and serving a really good cup of coffee…which they do quite well.

What do you think? Can you think of other examples where less-than-laser focus distracted a brand?

Smoothie Sailing

It will be interesting to see how the latest round of drink menu augmentation goes for Starbucks and their competitors.

The coffee purveyor and “third place” proprietor is serving up a new batch of “healthy-sounding” smoothies, designed to compete with similar offerings from Dunkin’ Donuts and others.

Now, the Spoon loves a Venti Caramel Macchiato as much as the next guy, but we’re not sure this move by Starbucks satisfies at least one of Ries’ and Trout’s 22 Laws, which is that it’s better to be first than better.

In other words, they’re not exactly creating a new category here. ‘Cause even if these smoothies are better, there doesn’t seem to be anything radically different about them.

The new VivannoTM from Starbucks.

Then again, people are always looking for convenient meal ideas, especially in tight financial times.

See for yourself. What do you think?