November 28, 2007

brand foolishness

I'm a little confused about which brands to trust at the moment. Not that they aren't all trust-worthy, but I wonder if they are all equal.

Let me give you an idea of some of the scenarios that I've been pondering lately.

Today I went to Costco to see if I could find that awesome bulk bag of organic sugar Pauline told me about (see post on organic sugar). Figured with all the holiday baking coming up that it was a good time to get one. My Costco had a good deal on a 10# bag of organic sugar, but it was by C&H. C&H produces refined cane sugar products and is stocked in all the regular grocery stores. The brand I was hoping to find is called Wholesome Sweeteners.

My instinct was telling me that from what I've read about Wholesome Sweeteners that it would be a better product to buy. Not because of the name, but because I think I've read that their production practices are socio/eco conscious (is that a word?) The thing that I'm wondering though is if this is valid. I have no information that C&H does anything differently, but I'm judging them because I know they make conventional products. I should say that C&H is a local Bay Area brand at least!

The sugars look the same. They are priced the same. Are they?

Here is another example. You may have heard the news that a big company has purchased Burt's Bees. Not surprising, as most organic and natural lines are being gobbled up by larger companies (see my post about the organic org chart). What IS surprising to me is that Clorox is the new parent company to Burt's Bees. CLOROX?? Does that not seem like the absolute antithesis of what you would expect from a natural body care line?

But this is just my emotional response to the brand, my gut reaction. (These feelings are referred to as branding). My personal thought is that I cannot trust products that are produced by Clorox because I do not believe they have the passion to produce high quality, natural and effective products. I assume they will look for big margins and sacrifice quality ingredients for their bottom line.

Should I have the same concerns about Toms of Maine, which was sold to Colgate-Palmolive?

I don't have any answers. I find it interesting how much branding is affecting my perceptions of products. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I have nothing to offer you in the way of information, except to validate your concerns. These big companies are getting into organics because organic is "in" and they see a way to make big profits. I would stick with the "tried and true" brands, who were dedicated to organic before organic became a buzz word. I would like a list of these companies, so I know which brands to support.

Anonymous said...

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