Congratulations, Everyone. You’ve made it to mid-February and you’re probably still going to the gym and eating incredibly healthy (I said you – not me). With that New Year glow about you, you must be attending the local farmer’s market perusing organic-only cheese and vegetables, right?
If you live anywhere between the Midwest and the East Coast, it’s another story. Plummeting temperatures today in New York are giving us a “Real Feel” of -7. And at this point, we expect meteorologists are having a field day coming up with another snowy term for ice cold weather. Snowmageddon. Polar Vortex. What’s next?
And what do these freezing temperatures have anything to do with your organic sunscreen or makeup? Here are three pieces of evidence:
1. Monopolizing the Media Conversation
You have a winter storm on the way, so what do your TV and newspapers become? Scare tactic-filled devices that force you to run to the supermarket and gas station to fill up on Wonder Bread, in the case that you might be house-bound for days on end.
Sound familiar? Today’s consumer health and food and beverage media have created an anxious consumer who now believes that her perfectly good non-organic cheese might hurt her family and her children. This steady stream of organic product recommendations have created an entirely new booming market across industries, including beauty, food, wine and even children’s toys.
The lead up to snowmageddon storms is a set of stress-filled days of hysteria with lines like “Worst Storm to Hit New York in Decades.” However, we’re often frustrated with the aftermath, which usually means only 4-5” inches of snow and crazy kids home from school. Take Winter Storm Juno, for example. It started with descriptive words such as “historic” and “menacing,” and ended with “disappointing” and “underwhelming.”
The same goes for the organics industry. No matter your source of news, organic consumer products make their way into the conversation and cause a panic among moms with non-organic baby foods. Brand advertising and editorial coverage for these products are always positive and supportive… but when you actually try it? It works just as well or tastes just as good as the other products you already have in your house.
I think everyone can agree that meteorologists, as much as we love them, are the only ones with job security despite making incorrect predictions half of the time. Seriously – good for them! When a snow storm or ice-cold weather is right around the corner, we jump to conclusions that it’s headed right in our direction, but sometimes it doesn’t even hit us.
Now that the organics industry has taken off (recent data shows the organic food industry grew by $35.1 billion in 2013), activist organizations like Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Consumer Reports have entire programs dedicated to identifying and confronting brands that are green washing or placing organic labels on non-organic products, disappointing the consumers who bought into the noise.