Branding in the Produce Aisle

broccoli-forest-carl-warner Here is an entry from the LabNotes blog (an excellent blog created by the folks at NameLab).  It discusses the possible unanticipated drawbacks of branding produce:

"We’ve noticed an increase in the number of branded items in the produce section of the supermarket.

"These aren’t advertised brands, and few broccoli shoppers are persuaded to buy Green Valley rather than Country Boy. Usually, only the broccoli the wholesaler delivered that week is displayed, so there’s no choice anyway. You either buy broccoli or you don’t.

"Many of these brands appear to be accidental. For protection, the produce item is wrapped at the packing shed and the farmer’s MBA-wielding son-in-law thinks “lets print a promotional name and graphics on the wrapper. Branding must do something good, look at all the money P&G makes.”

"The problem is that such accidental brands have unintended consequences. They suggest that this broccoli is somehow industrial, the product of “a company” rather than “a farmer”...and thus less trustworthy to that growing percentage of buyers who are worried about the wholesomeness of food.

"This is obviously a larger percentage of the folks in the produce aisle than the (chubbier) folks in the snack cakes aisle. For the produce shoppers, accidental branding may make the product less desirable.

"In these times, when “simplicity is the new black”, over-branding can be costly."