Independent Thinking Blog

Kellogg, Kashi, and What Customers Want

Saying you’ve done nothing wrong when your customers are angry may not be the smartest response. Calling customers “confused”–really?

My friend Zane Safrit pointed me to this story¬†about Kellogg’s Kashi brand. Apparently some of the soy used in its cereals comes from genetically modified soybeans. So the use of the term “natural” strikes some consumers as misleading–even if Kashi’s general manager says the company has done nothing wrong.

Legally, he is correct. But it’s a soundproof room argument.

Perception is another matter. And while Kashi has committed to have “at least 70 percent organic ingredients by 2015,” that doesn’t make some customers feel less duped today. Not to mention that the Kashi brand is marketed as though it were an independent health-focused company, not part of the same big business responsible for Rice Krispies and Pop Tarts.

Authenticity is not about “all-natural ingredients” and “nothing artificial.” It’s about being the same when the covers come off as you are when you’re all wrapped up for show.

Photo by Brendan C.

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