Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Are Oreos Part of a Mindful Diet? Snack Makers Promote Chewing Thoughtfully

This is going on a year old but with many people hunkered down with their sweet or savory, salty or fatty oftentimes super-processed food, this is a question that will come up.
And you my friend will have the answer. Or at least the answer promoted by the Nabisco division of MDLZ.
From News 365, July 24, 2019
Earlier this month, about two dozen employees from Mondelez International’s headquarters sat facing a wall emblazoned with the company’s snack brands including Oreo cookies, Triscuit crackers, Swedish Fish candy, Cadbury chocolate and Nilla wafers. They gathered to learn how to eat these foods in a new way.

After breathing and meditation exercises, the group was told to slowly reach for a cracker, take one bite, and then set it down.

“Close your eyes and chew slowly,” said Claire Mark, a local meditation instructor who led the class. “Try to bring in a deeper level of awareness to the muscles that it takes to chew, to the physical experience of having food in your mouth, to recognize how it feels to swallow.” After a pause, the group repeated the process for each of the remaining bites needed to eat two crackers.

Mindful snacking, or the practice of slowly and deliberately eating food, is being promoted by companies who want to convince increasingly health-conscious consumers that indulging in cookies, crackers and candy is OK to do sometimes.

“It’s about learning how to enjoy and get more pleasure and satisfaction from how you eat our snacks and even why you eat our snacks,” Chris McGrath, Mondelez’s chief of global impact, sustainability and well-being, told employees at the training class. “This is us leading the future for our consumers to continue to build and have a healthy relationship with their snacking behavior and for us to help them love our brands.”

The company plans to include “snack mindfully” tips on all of its packaging world-wide by 2025. It will include eating advice such as minimize distractions, focus on the smell and taste, use your non-dominant hand, notice textures, chew thoroughly and finish one bite before starting the next.
Mondelez says it isn’t worried that teaching consumers to eat its snacks in moderation will lower sales. The company studied what it calls a pleasure-guilt paradox, which involves consumers enjoying an indulgent snack initially, but then feeling guilty if they overdo it. “They just lose track, get distracted and then all of a sudden the bag is gone,” says Ms. McGrath. “So some consumers will say ‘I can’t even bring them into the house because I can’t control myself.’ ”...

The packaged food giants caught a break with the response to the coronavirus pandemic but unlike the frozen food folks, may not see a lasting effect.
And they have to do something or they lose a generation of consumers.