October 18, 2013

Food Environment - London Style

Whats a girl like me to do in a new "home" city? Document the food environment, of course!

I am temporarily making London my home while I'm working on a PhD (I'm studying the food environment - of course), and have been snapping photos of some very interesting things here. I'll be sharing them from time to time.

First up, this ad from a food giant to remain unnamed (you can read it in the photo) makes my blood boil when I see it, which is all the time.
I took this at a bus stop the other day (if you look closely you can see my reflection in the glass), which is rather appropriate with the ad trying to convince me that I could be eating their lovely product on the bench I was standing in front of. (It actually looks pretty unappetizing, but that's another topic)

Besides the 'eat anywhere, for cheap' message that is so blatant here, if you look down at the bottom, you'll see they're positioning this product as a 'new meal' called "breakfast snack."

Now, I know what breakfast is, and I know what a snack is, but what exactly is a "breakfast snack"? From what I can reason this product is not intended to be eaten as your breakfast, but in addition to you breakfast. So you could eat a 'normal' breakfast at home and then stop by to pick this up at 9am on your way to work or school for a little "breakfast snack."

Creation of new meal times is not unique to this food company - another famously created "the 4th meal" designed to be eaten after your dinner. Nor are these advertising tactics new - they are all over in most cities I've been in. And perhaps that's what I find most depressing: they are so ubiquitous. The way I see it, when taken as a sum they are bound to change the eating habits of at least some (speaking very conservatively).

Eat whenever you want, wherever you want, whatever you want and in whatever quantity. This is where we are. If you are trying to eat healthfully at relatively moderate times/places, you're fighting an uphill battle.

It's a battle that includes ignoring this type of ad, encouraging you to throw caution to the wind and enjoy your "breakfast snack" (an essential meal, don't you know) while you're waiting for the bus.

There's more to come from London!


nutrition sportive said...

"Breakfast snack" this sound pure marketing strategy.
Thank for the article anyways :)

Courtney said...

Completely agree! Pure marketing. Glad you enjoyed the post.