The Conscious Consumption Crystal Ball

I’m beginning to wonder if I don’t have a little Nostradamus in me? Or maybe it’s the blood red moon? Either way, predicting the future is appearing to get easier. At least as it relates to conscious consumption. Last fall I wrote about how Target was moving toward a labeling system that would help direct its customers to more environmentally friendly and healthier options. Well, it’s out. And so many other things we’ve written about or reported from our THINK report are gaining more and more energy.

Just last week Target announced their “Made to Matter” line of products. More specifically they are calling it “Made to Matter – Hand Picked by Target.” Nice touch Target. The line is made up of about 120 products from a wide variety of categories and manufacturers. They range from food products to health and … Read More »



Conscious Consumers – The Next Generation

When I was first married, a good friend gave my husband and I  Jamie Oliver’s first cookbook, “The Naked Chef.”  The photography is mouthwatering. The recipes are simple and wholesome but packed full of flavor. (Check out his tomato sauce recipe and I guarantee you’ll make it from scratch from that day forward.) But more importantly, his first person narrative tells the story of cooking and provides tips, techniques and shortcuts that inspire a home chef to experiment with nearly flawless success. In essence, it’s the perfect example of how with just a bit of knowledge, anyone can make healthier decisions that are simple and easy.

Since that first book in 2000, Jamie has launched a powerful worldwide brand – twelve cookbooks and counting, TV series, documentaries and more. Watch just five minutes of any show and you’ll see that Jamie … Read More »



Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival appeals to Conscious Consumers through music and food

In Molly’s post a few months ago she referred to Chipotle along with Whole Foods and TOMS as “the Carrie Underwoods of Conscious Consumerism, crossing over into mainstream popularity.” Now, like Carrie Underwood, Chipotle is taking their show and story to the music stage with their announcement that this year they will be expanding their Chipotle Cultivate Festival and bringing it to Minneapolis.

The one-day event is free to the public and will feature food and live music for an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 people in San Francisco, Minneapolis and Dallas. What makes it appealing to Conscious Consumers is the emphasis on fresh and affordable food made with sustainably raised ingredients. According to Mark Crumpacker, Chief Marketing and Development Officer at Chipotle:

“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food, and that includes helping people understand more about how food is … Read More »



Grocery store as health advisor: Coaching Conscious Consumers

Make the healthy choice the easy choice. It’s a mantra I repeat, and it’s applicable for anyone trying to change behavior:

A parent can make the healthy choice the easy choice by keeping a bowl of fruit on the counter and the chips hidden away.
An employer can make the healthy choice the easy choice by subsidizing healthy foods in the cafeteria and providing an onsite fitness center.
A government can make the healthy choice the easy choice by supporting farmer’s markets and building sidewalks.

And a brand can make the healthy choice the easy choice through coaching – something we’ve talked a lot about since our THINK report identified that consumers want brands to support their wellness.

That’s exactly what one grocery store chain, Rainbow Foods, is doing through their Health Key program. Health Key highlights different health benefits of the food on the shelves … Read More »



Conscious Consumption

Recently a colleague shared with me an article about a local co-op. It was a story about its recent growth. The Seward Community Co-op generated over $30 million in revenue in 2013 – a benchmark they said they were not expecting to hit for another five years. And they did it with one co-op. One store. One that expanded to new space only five years ago, and has already outgrown that space. They’ve tripled the size of their employee base and increased membership significantly, too. When I took at look at Seward’s revenue over time I saw a 43% increase since 2010. And not too far from Seward is another co-op, The Wedge. The Wedge also saw $30 million in revenue last year, which represented a 10% lift in sales from their previous year. That’s two cooperatives less than 4 … Read More »