Thursday, September 9, 2010

Will positioning carrots as junk food be effective?


After two decades of growth, pre-packaged convenience veggie sales are slowing. In an effort to jump start sales of baby carrots, an alliance of farmers got together $25 million and hired Crispin Porter & Bogusky to create a campaign. They decided to skip the obvious healthy message, and instead position carrots as a cooler snack than chips, using the tagline: “Eat ‘Em Like Junk Food.” (Lukovitz, 2010)

Providing context in a comparative format is an interesting approach that just might prove to be more compelling. And given that potato chip sales surged in 2008 and 2009, consistent with the trend toward replacing meals with snacks – a much needed way to shift consumers to healthier snacks. (Jargon, 2010)

What do you think? Will you substitute carrots the next time you reach for the chips?

Lukovitz, K. (2010, September 7). Selling Baby Carrots As The Perfect ‘Junk Food’. Retrieved September 8, 2010, from

Jargon, J. (2010, September 8, 2010). How Lunchtime Is Turning Into Snack Time. Wall Street Journal. pD3.


  1. What a nice contract for C P & B! With their style of advertising, C P & B just might have some success. My first thought of the tag line was "That's not a good tag line?!", but after pulling up the article, reading that it will have a satirical take, and seeing the new packaging, this campaign just might have some wings. Not only do we snack on chips because of the taste, but it is also somewhat of a ritual. This is football season and a big part of football season are snacks and snacking. I can see bringing out the newly designed bags at a football party, getting razzed by the guests at first, watching them devour almost every last carrot without even realizing it, and then getting the compliment, "what a great idea". Once we, consumers, have a great experience like the above mentioned coupled with seeing/watching the creative ads, this will trigger a new attitude and create a new behavioral buying pattern for the product. Carrots ARE a delicious snack and I personally find myself chowing down on these tasty, healthy, crispy, "orange-y" treats without noticing. As the article mentions, it's about changing attitudes which great advertising and packaging can do just that. I think this is a brilliant idea that will be effective and grow sales.

  2. I think that trying to label carrots as a junk food doesn't really make that much sense because they just aren't. While the satirical intent and mocking modern packaging are fun to see, the message and the product seem in discord. The thing about junk foods is that we prefer them, in spite of how unhealthy they are (hence the name) specifically for the fact that we enjoy the taste. They are addictively tasty and simply calling something healthy a junk food isn't really going to change anything. I don't remember any campaigns telling us that potato chips were suddenly the snack to have, I've always just eaten them because they're easier, faster and taste better.

    I think this campaign could promote baby carrot sales if only for the fact that it's the first time they're being promoted in any way. But I also feel like this approach is not necessarily something that the average audience would "get." I feel like typical people would see the packaging and scoff at the attempt to make carrots into something "cool," despite the fact that at the end of the day, they're not chips, they're still healthy and they're still carrots, they taste just the same whether the bag has an orange bunny or green pastures on it.

  3. So this is trying to redefine the image of carrots? This is really interesting! I think that the carrot should be shaped like a chip, this may make the link easier. I could picture this appealing to a large target market. Kid may enjoy them if they were shaped cool, and mothers would want to buy them. I could also picture people eating them if they were on a diet while in shape people would also enjoy them. Would they be individually wrapped just like you would buy a bag of chips? I heard that baby carrots are dipped in chlorine to keep them from turning bad? I am not sure if this is true, but if the new carrots are dipped in chlorine as well than I do not think I would buy the product.

  4. i don't think it makes them seem like junk food. if i saw that tagline i'd think that it's still just saying that it's a healthy alternative, which we already know. especially the use of the work "like," which implies that carrots are not junk food at all, but rather that you should eat a lot of them, like we do with junk food. i think it'd be more effective if they were to say something like "the healthy junk food."
    overall i think it's hard to make carrots cool, so it's a difficult situation.
    but if we're going with the subject of how to market carrots to be cool… i agree in saying that the shape should change. and this may be a horrible idea but maybe flavoring them? kinda like doritos… haha. i would totally buy flavored carrots at least once, and if they were good i'd definitely keep buying.

  5. I believe a tagline: “Eat ‘Em INSTEAD of Junk Food" would be more effective than “Eat ‘Em Like Junk Food.” (Lukovitz, 2010) Carrots or other vegetables will never replace the deep-fried goodness that is junk food so it should not be marketed as such. Instead, I believe Crispin Porter & Bogusky should focus on creating a campaign that triggers consumers to think baby carrots are the healthy alternative to chips not the replacement. Advertisements highlighting creative ways to enjoy baby carrots (dips and recipes) would be a good way to show consumers how vegetables can substitute junk food but at the end of the day when the game is on I'll still be reaching for the chips.