Lately I’ve been seing a lot of commercials for yogurt. These feature lovely women with flat abs, spinning hola-hoops, frolicking with men and talking about how great they feel. We are led to believe that this is due to the incredible powers of yogurt. It is subtly presented that the bacteria in the yogurt is what creates these miraculous benefits. It will rid your stomach of anything bad- including fat! As a testament to the power of a brand, my wife now stocks up on 2-3 containers of Greek Yogurt per week.
You can just imagine a group of executives at Danon licking their lips about this propitious new trend. The fact that it’s “Greek” yogurt gives it a new, fresh, more European appeal. This is the likely reason marketers created product brands with exotic brand names like and . These yogurt moguls and marketers were also quick to choose their target. Western women. It was an easy selection: this group is extremely susceptible to any messaging that implies better looks or thinner wastes. And these marketing efforts can only be described as a wild success, with exponential sales growth. I challenge you to find a supermarket that does not shelve Greek Yogurt, directly at eye level. But, in spite of this success, there’s a problem. The message is false, and misleading, the hula hoop girls just a figment of a clever marketing pitch. It’s not that yogurt is bad for you. In fact, I’m sure it does offer certain health benefits. The problem is that eating yogurt is unlikely to lead to the benefits assumed in the commercials. Yogurt will not make you more fit, more thin, or even really more healthy (to say nothing of the ogling men).
You may say “but there are no products that could claim these benefits”. In fact, the answer is: YOU’RE WRONG! THESE PRODUCTS DO EXIST. They are incredible, will make you live longer, feel stronger, and become thinner. This is a methodically proven fact, repeatedly demonstrated by scientific trials. The products in question are called Cruciferous Vegetables and include broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. They are shown to help in everything from weight loss to cancer prevention. If there truly is a miracle food, this is it. Eat these products several times a week and, simply put, you will live in a more healthy body. Period.
But, there’s a problem. These products suffer from a uniquely North American problem. This is marketing funds. They have none. And, let’s face it, the word Cruciferous Vegetables does not ring quite as sexy as Greek Yogurt. So, while it’s established that these products have incredible health benefits, are available for a lot less money and are more versatile than yogurt, they lack in something more important in the North American public conscience. These products suffer from an acute shortage of marketing. They lack the dancing ladies, the European charm and the buzz associated with anything new.
It is this alone that is the death knoll. It is the reason that broccoli is not simply flying off the shelves and brussel sprouts aren’t experiences double digit growth. The lack of marketing budget means these products get relegated to the lowly, deep corners of the local supermarket while Greek Yogurt is front and center. Until, that is, marketers discover the next “miracle” food.