What is Wrong With Organic Foods?

Are they held back because of marketing budgets?.

Take a stroll through a Whole Foods Markets (nasdaq: WFMI – news – people ) store and you won't see celebrities on organic cereal boxes, Spider-Man giveaways on snack containers or television cartoon characters on milk cartons. The colors are mostly bland and the logos largely unoriginal. The main reason is entirely practical: limited budgets. The organic food industry is made up of much smaller brands that have invested more money in ingredients and how they're grown and far less on elaborate marketing materials. They "let the quality speak for itself," says Kate Lowery, a spokeswoman for Whole Foods in Austin, Tex.

Conventional food companies, on the other hand, generally invest less in the product itself and can still profit while spending the cash on ad campaigns. (Not to mention, they already have longstanding relationships in the marketing and entertainment arenas.) Where organic brands do have a marketing message, it is typically targeted to a niche audience of tofu eaters through ads in magazines like Body & Soul and Yoga Journal or grass roots efforts like free samples.

Perhaps seeing themselves as a niche set of products is part of the problem. I don't have any answers off the top of my head, but if you think big enough and are creative, you can do a lot with a small marketing budget.

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