The ugly "janus-face" of the health craze
Nowadays it's all about being "healthy", about living a sustainable lifestyle and being the best "you" that you can be.
And with demand, comes supply.
A huge market has opened up in that department, with new startups (like Manna) finding their place, through unique, new and creative ways, some even take off and manage to establish themselves as grand players in the business.
And then of course there's the big chains, trying to keep up with the hype, they revamp their range and expand onto healthier variations, that the people are now asking for.
And while we are, without a doubt, big fans of the health craze something doesn't seem right...
The health craze is revealing it's ugly side, and many companies reveal themselves as so called janus-faced tricksters (Janus; ancient roman god with two faces, known to be misleading).
More and more brands are choosing to advertise their products using Buzzwords like "healthy", "nutritious", "authentic", "homemade" and "organic". Using terms like these, they draw in more and more customers that are allured by big and expensive marketing campaigns that promote better health and weight loss.
And that is the problem. The many brands with these grand campaigns, pictures and slogans project a false message, a false hope, onto their consumers.
Brands like "Activia", a yoghurt brand, have completely rebranded themselves, now promoting a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Their website focuses on How to's, guides and tips on sustaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. They seem to barely concentrate on advertising their product but are simply working on building a credible and trustworthy aura around themselves, regarding health and nutritional tips. Probably hoping that by being perceived as a healthy brand, their "Activia yoghurt" will be known as the epitome of health.
The brand name being what it is, seems to suggest the yoghurt as a perfect snack for working out and athletes.
But when looking at the nutrients and ingredients on the yoghurts label, it could not be further from "organic" or "nutritional". A whooping 17 grams of sugar per 100g (in comparison to the 5 grams per 100g in more organic alternatives) would certainly not classify the "Activia yoghurt" as healthy and ideal dietary food. Especially since the recommended amount of sugar per day is set at 30 grams. One Activia yoghurt would already cover your daily sugar intake, not allowing you any other indulgence for the day.
Furthermore Activia isn't the only brand that has been disguising their products as healthy when in reality they aren't.
In fact, too many commercial companies have launched their own healthy brands, hoping to draw in a wider range of customers, without putting in time or effort to make sure they really are healthy, thus keeping the costs to a minimum and profits to a maximum.
Safeway, a national grocery store, has launched their own brand "O organics".
And by offering "healthy" products for cheaper than what smaller companies can sell for, because they get their ingredients from local farmers and usually produce everything homemade, sell more. That way Safeway gets to justify throwing out the smaller health brands that cannot compete with the cheap pricing and the big brand gets more own shelf space in the progress. So all that remains are cheap products with misleading disguises,
And since consumers don't tend to check or inform themselves, but in their busy lives simply look for the quickest food labeled as healthy, they buy the disguised products and the truly authentic, smaller brands go without recognition.
And that is the next problem. People want quick food and they crave the indulgence factor. They don't want to stick to strict diets, they want to be able to eat a "healthy burger" or "healthy muffin" and don't want pizza to be "off limits" any longer.
Brands like "LEON" have picked up on that and are establishing themselves as "healthy fastfooders", and people are loving it.
Customers want to indulge and not have to feel guilty afterwards. And while that is an admirable concept and can certainly work, it has gone over the top.
Information is the key. Because while something might be the organic, low carb, low fat, gluten free, vegan or dairy free version of a food, it doesn't necessarily make you loose weight or make the product that much healthier (unless it is your personal health condition). Calling something reduced in sugar, often means it has added chemicals or a higher level of fat in order for the product to still taste good. But of course the supplier wouldn't mention that, and only highlight the positive factors. And since people, as already mentioned, aren't informed enough, they end up buying the only slightly healthier junk food, trusting that they're making the healthier choice.
So in retrospect we here at Manna encourage all our customers and readers to inform themselves about nutrition and are here to lend a helping hand with the process.
Unlike these brands, mentioned beforehand, we are completely transparent, we have nothing to hide, our main focus lays on encouraging and motivating everyone to join the good side of the health craze, because it is about taking care of our bodies, so why wouldn't we ?
Please do remember that a vegan muffin is still muffin and probably very rich in calories, but also keep in mind to take a look at the ingredients included;
Are they rich in nutrients ?
What do they do for your body ?
And are they free of preservatives and additives ?
Ours sure are. And since we make them by hand and with seasonal ingredients only, you can be a 100% certain that it's all natural and good for you.
We encourage you to stay away from prepackaged foods,
We encourage you to keep in mind portion control, which is why our snacks are bite - sized. (Because no matter how good something is for you, too much of anything is never health)..
We encourage you to do what's best for you.
Eat in variety, eat the rainbow, enjoy.