Why Johnny Can't Diet

With obesity a national crisis in the United States and hunger a national crisis in many parts of the Third World, the food industry is struggling with declining sales. "A recently as a decade ago, Campbell Soup Co. was posting tidy volume gains for its ubiquitous red-and-white label soups. Today, company watchers doubt Campbell can even stabilize declining sales of its condensed soup," notes Advertising Age in a story titled "Food Industry Growth Stalls." To reverse the trend, the food industry is looking for ways to get Americans to eat more. One strategy is to sell so-called "nutraceuticals" or "functional" foods that are marketed as solutions to obesity, aging or other health problems (even though Ad Age admits that "functional" foods are "defined by little more than the addition of calcium to existing products"). Simultaneously, companies are pushing convenience and snack foods. Ad Age notes impressive strides in the sale of Mini Oreos, Single Serve Oreo Packs and Chocolate Creme Oreos.