Not the first product to have its origins disguised, but fairly amusing nonetheless. Also, after reading the spectacularly informative Omnivore's Dilemma, I've realized that most of the so-called organic brands are just as corporate in origin as Perdue Chickens.
Pepsi Dons Disguise in Attempt to Seduce Whole Foods Devotees
Whole Foods this month brings to its shelves a new line from a small entrepreneurial company: PepsiCo. To compete with the homespun, lifestyle-oriented companies that appeal to the Whole Foods consumer, the $35 billion food and beverage behemoth Pepsi is creating wholly new startup brands for the chain that bear no telltale trace of their corporate lineage and are supported with very little marketing.
Its high-energy protein-drink line, called Fuelosophy, follows in the footsteps of its already-introduced Sun Snacks organic line of sunflower-oil chips and cheese puffs testing in the chain since last February.
Steve Gundrum, president-CEO of product-development firm Mattson...said Whole Foods is “not a reseller of branded package-goods like other retailers. They're really a curator of brands and products that fit their consumers' lifestyle” -- which means consumers trust products carried at Whole Foods and are willing to pay far higher prices for them.
Ad spending for brands at Whole Foods is minimal. One executive close to PepsiCo noted it would be “counterproductive to advertise [Fuelosophy and Sun Snacks], as Whole Foods consumers like the discovery of things not tarnished by mass marketing.”
disclaimer: I've shopped at Whole Foods, on and off, since 1981 in Austin, and have known several people who worked there in various capacities. I also wish I purchased Whole Foods stock in 1993. Doh! Of course, in 1993, I lived fairly hand to mouth (mmmm, love those kettles of organic rice and beans that last 3 days!), so whatcha gonna do? Whole Foods is not a perfect corporation by any metric, but I like the fact that executives only make 16 times 19 times as much as entry level employees. More U.S. corporations ought to adopt this simple rule.