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.