Going nude; a clever brand gesture

For generations, parents have been trying to get their kids to eat healthier food. Is it possible that one brand has finally found a way to make it happen, at least at school?

During the past year, I have noticed that my son’s lunch box has changed. The rollups are gone, so too the chips, muesli bars and even juice boxes. In their place there’s fresh fruit and all sorts of healthy treats. Even the plastic wrapped sandwiches or paper bags are gone.

This also means nothing is actually branded, except for the lunch box – but more on that in a minute.

My son tells me this is all about him going ‘nude’. No – it’s not eating food in the nude but food that’s unpackaged and waste free.

Most schools are not only supporting the nude cause, they are enforcing it. Nutrition Australia is also behind it, as is Jamie Oliver (who has long campaigned for healthier lunch options for kids).

The focus is on a national awareness campaign in conjunction with nutrition week. The second Nude Food Day is on the 19th October. The message is a simple one, “enjoy a rubbish free lunch and reduce your environmental footprint”.

A first glance it is an incredibly noble cause to get kids to swap processed for more healthier, wholesome foods and reduce rubbish in the playground (the kids have to bring home any rubbish). Then, you realise, ‘Smash’, a company who specialise in making lunch boxes and containers to carry unpackaged food is behind this.

Smash say that “the Nude food movers range was developed to provide a much-needed solution in the marketplace that helps build hassle free lunches, without requiring excessive packaging, that encourages healthy food choices, and doesn’t cost the earth (pardon the pun)!”

Apparently, a normal lunch box or container doesn’t keep naked food fresh and un-crushed. This is where Smash’s range of boxes and containers solve the problem. Their lunch boxes and containers have specially designed with compartments that are airtight, leak proof, crush resistant and insulated to keep everything fresh. Smash have ensured that schools and peer pressure encourages parents to buy the ‘nude food movers’.

It is a simple and effective strategy: understand the trend, highlight a problem, provide the solution, engage key brand supporters and ambassadors, and then continue to drive the awareness. In this case, the brand gesture of ‘nude food day’ is ideal to drive publicity as it continues to give the brand relevance. Better still, it is a good news story about improving the health of our children as well as protecting the environment.

But there is a flip side to this. Branded treats from the supermarket might be under threat. Most of the branded snacks in our cupboard were bought specifically for school. With nude food now the norm, habits are changing and we are now buying far less packaged goodies.

It will be interesting to see how this trend develops and its impact on brands. It’s not just about school lunches. Zero-waste, packaging free supermarkets are already cropping up and encouraging us all to get back to real and basic produce.

If this trend continues to spread, it could pose a bigger threat to FMCG brands than plain packaging is for the tobacco industry. As brand designers, we are excited by this challenge and we continue to explore innovative and sustainable ways to brand, beyond the packaging.

 

Michael Hughes

Director of Brand Strategy

 

in.gredients; USA’s first zero-packaging supermarket:

 

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