Truffle Media Update for February 11, 2011, Can New Dietary Guidelines Be A Marketing Opportunity?

Food, agriculture, and human health are tightly linked. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released the The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Policy Document, whose aim is to "promote overall health" by highlighting several key actions Americans should take. This document, and others like it, have been produced by the US Government for many years (the well known Food Pyramid goes back to 1978), always looking to help improve the health and wellness of its citizens.

Going The Opposite Direction! And yet, those in the food industry continue to serve up 1,000 calorie lunches, when most people only need ~2,200 calories a day. While there are great efforts by restaurants to publish their menu and nutrition information (examples), many continue to create items like Carl's super-sized foot-long cheeseburger or Burger King's 2,500 calorie Pizza Burger. And, to really confuse people, the White House's State Dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao did not follow the ideals set forth in the Dietary Guidelines; this multi- course dinner was estimated to be at least 3,000 calories.

Can Americans Change? So the question is: Are Americans serious about changing their behavior? Are food service and consumer goods companies willing to get behind these guidelines? And are agricultural producers willing to support those same guidelines? There is an impact to agriculture if many Americans take to heart the dietary guidelines. People switching to drinking water, reducing by half their meat intake, or eating smaller portions all imply many agricultural producers would produce less (However, there is an upside to those that grow fruits and vegetables).

What Is The Marketing Opportunity? Don't expect an immediate shift in American's food habits. However, there is an opportunity to utilize the dietary guidelines as a distinctive marketing opportunity. Companies that can pivot on the issues and concerns around food, health, and agriculture will create usable products and services that will be ahead of the competition.

Join the FoodChat Conversation. To help this conversation , #foodchat, a monthly conversation on Twitter for people interested in food, is focusing on the new dietary guidelines. If you have any questions, direct message your questions to @foodchat no later than Feb 14, 6 p.m. EST, then join #foodchat Feb 15, 8-10 p.m. EST for the convo. Missed the conversations? The questions and related tweets will be archived at

Marketing Posts To Help You

  1. Compelling Facebook Fan Pages - Chris Brogan provides a perspective on compelling Facebook pages. While he admits that he is on the fence about Facebook as a way to "make something actually happen", his review and commentary offer ideas and directions on which to extend your Facebook experiments.
  2. Are Consumers Swayed by Animal Welfare Issues? - Consumers must be front and center in any animal agriculture marketing, policy, and legislative efforts. The public exposure animal rights and animal welfare debates create will impact purchasing decisions by consumers. The Januaray 2011 edition of Connecting Livestock Producers with Economic Research provides several assessments of recent animal welfare ballot initiatives and their impact on consumer economic behavior.
  3. Audio: Trying to Build Community? - Matt Hunckler offers several community building approaches that easily can be used by those in agriculture.
  4. What is Agri-Marketing - What do agrimarketers see as their biggest challenges in the next year? How has social media changed agrimarketing practices? How are conventional methods holding up? This AgChat conversation on marketing in agriculture aims to share ideas and thoughts on these questions.

Truffle Media Networks focuses on bringing usable media to agri-business professionals across the beef, dairy, poultry, and swine industries.

How can you connect with those in animal agriculture? Truffle Media Networks offers a channel that reaches producers, farm operation management, large animal veterinarians, production staff, and researchers. Learn more about how to make those connections.

How Are Agricultural Stories Being Told?

  1. Audio: Economist Says Ag Industry Outlook Bright - Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City economist Brian Briggeman discusses the outlook for the agriculture economy and international transitions.
  2. Winter Farm and Ranch Work - Do farmers and ranchers take the winter months off? Definitely not! This AgChat discussion shares insights on what does happen during the winter months.
  3. Audio: What Happened At The International Pig Veterinary Society? - Dr. Bob Morrison from the University of Minnesota hosts a conversation on the presentations from International Pig Veterinary Society in Vancouver. Joining Dr. Morrison is Dr Gordon Spronk with the Pipestone System, Boehringer Ingelheims's Dr. Tom Wetzel and Dr Jeff Husa, MN Pork Producer Robert Barsch and Allison Collins, research Scientist from Australia.
  4. Audio: Mycotoxin Binder Research - Do They Work For You? - Jessica Nixon, Poultry Science graduate student at North Carolina State University, shares her research on effectiveness of the mycotoxin binding solutions currently on the market. While some producers have better luck with some products than others, Jessica's research shows a definate feed efficiency response. From the 2011 International Poultry Scientific Forum.
  5. Video: How Do We Feed Pigs With $5+ Corn? - Dr. Mark Whitney, associate professor, University of Minnesota Extension, shares his analysis on how $7 corn will impact pork producers and what they can do in this market. From the 2011 Minnesota Pork Congress, January 19-20, 2011, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

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The Truffle Media Networks team