Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Healthy Habit

Organic. Can't dodge the label now even if you tried. Organic is not a new word in our household vernacular. What is new is the lengths products go to position themselves as synonymous with healthy wholesome and good . We also know that when you slap on that little seven letter word that starts with O (mind outta the gutter) the Other word: organic it's marketing piece for this positioning is typically the premium it demands. See the O word on the label: add another 20-30% to the bottom line. Mind you, I don't fight that battle, because I am a staunch defender of the farmer and the industry minions who support all things pesticide free. The beef so to speak comes from the inane marketing of things clearly not healthy, but when proudly displaying an organic tag line is made over magically ? Perhaps not.

Cigarettes. Yes, now even my favorite satirist Christopher Hitchens can embody the healthy marketing notion that he is doing something good for himself as he smokes two organic packs a day.

I became aware of this oddly positioned organic product from an insert in my favorite magazine, The Atlantic. Double truck magazine advertisement for you fellow marketing wonks- singing the praises of the American Spirit Cigarette, and it's use of Organic tobacco. I am not a smoker, but friends who do still smoke (yes, weirdly enough still on this continent) maybe even more weirdly in my own neighborhood- agreed to preform a taste test/price/value comparison.

The results? Since I am not affiliated with Consumer Reports, suppose I can share with you.. Local test results reported no difference in taste for a price premium, and the idea of smoking organic cigarettes really felt silly. Who do you suppose the market for this product? Surely not overweight Midwesterners who drink domestic swill and consider In and Out burger fine dining. The answer may allude us, but the marketing savvy gave me a laugh.

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