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Hi, Craig. I enjoyed reading your post on Walmart’s “Great For You” food labeling program. As you pointed out, one could view this as part of a larger effort or campaign to encourage healthy eating. It could also be viewed as a crafty corporate marketing strategy targeting Walmart shoppers, who range from people making less than $40,000 a year to young “brand aspirationals,” earning $70,000 a year. Whatever the rationale behind the “Great For You” food labeling program, I think it is a smart public relations action strategy on the part of the company. I’d be interested to know what type of market research went into this decision. The research component is critical in determining whether or not a strategy like this will be successful with consumers. I also think the positive quote in the New York Times article from the Larry Soler of the Partnership for a Healthier America’s, an organization chaired by First Lady Michelle Obama, reinforces that this is a clever and well-timed move by the company. Industry is a much needed ally and partner in the battle against obesity, and I think Walmart is smart to leverage its position in the market as arguably one of the world’s largest food retailers. The timing is right for the organization to capitalize on the national interest around this issue as well. While I don’t think this is an effort to truly improve the health of America, I do think it is a smart well-thought-out PR strategy that benefits the organization and its key publics. It will be interesting to see if other companies follow in Walmart’s footsteps. Campaign Blogger
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Mar 12, 2012