SuperFOOD or SuperFAD?

Updated: Mar 14, 2019

Please don't hate me...

I am well avare that Superfoods are the new BLACK of 21st century and we are all just trying to do what everyone else says that we should be doing to save ourselves from premature death and live long and happy life. Don't you worry, I won't tell you it's all lie and you stand no chance in this FOOD-LIKE, Processed, fast living word and you all gonna die no matter how many of these SUPERFOODs you eat. I just wanna open your eyes and save you some money and possible dissapointment.

So before you will make up your own mind let's breake it down...


Where did the term superfood originate? Interestingly, not from those who formally study food, such as nutrition scientists and dietitians. The earliest recorded example have taken place in the early 20th century around World War I, used as part of a food marketing strategy. The United Fruit Company initiated an enthusiastic advertising campaign to promote its major import of bananas. It published informational pamphlets including Points About Bananas and the Food Value of the Banana. [1] Initially the company had advertised the practicality of bananas in a daily diet, being cheap, nutritious, easily digested, available everywhere, good when cooked and not cooked, and sealed by nature in a germ-proof package. To get people to eat more, they suggested adding bananas in cereal for breakfast, in salads for lunch, and fried with meat for dinner.

Bananas soon bore an emblem of health, and mothers made bananas a dietary staple for their children and infants even if they did not have celiac disease. The United Fruit Company included these health benefits in its promotional material and the popular press flaunted headlines about bananas, birthing the banana diet craze.

Superfoods = Super Sales

The difference in the 21st century is that information now spreads at viral speed so that a new superfood seems to appear on a monthly basis. The essentials are in place: scientific research on a particular food, catchy headlines from the fast-paced popular press, as well as infomercials and marketing campaigns of involved food industries.

Superfoods often translate into super sales that have created a billion-dollar industry.

What makes them so appealing? Aren't they just a food after all?

Acording to study, consumers are willing to pay more money for food which is labeled as helathy, illnes curing, rich in certain nutritents, and has other health benefiting claims printed on their label. These information might be only sum-ups of basic benefits from consumption of certain minerals, vitamins or food groups, but written in appealing way they are shown to people as a FOOD MEDICINE and as a prevention to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, ... and death. Who would not like that, ay?

It is no suprise that they are ussualy plant based products as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts which usualy carry their benefits in daily consumtion. So they should be on top of our dialy consumer list anyhow.

Why do we buy them like crazy then, when they are just a food?

Simply because they have been marketed to us as something you cannot live or survive without.

The food industry certainly has the incentive to market a product as a superfood, which boosts sales. According to Mintel research, in 2015 there was a 36% increase globally in the number of foods and beverages launched that were labeled as a “superfood,” “superfruit,” or “supergrain,” with the United States leading those product launches. Quinoa and other ancient grains, chia seeds, and kale enjoyed consistent sales growth in 2017.  A recent list of the top 13 trending ingredients based on data from food and beverage startup companies include pea protein, seaweed, ginger, turmeric, matcha, oats, barley, and chickpeas.

Vera Nutrition coach


Now Let's look at the whole situation from selle'rs perspective.

You are a Carrot farmer, you produce very good carrot, organic, spray free but it doesn't sell as much as you would like. So you take an example in a Superfood industry and write a beautiful story how consumption of carrot can change your whole life.

First you have to make up a story...

People love things which are ancient, which are from remote places and which have a bit of mysterical feeling.

Then you have to find your soulmates (shall I call them SELLmates?). So you describe your perfect customer.

Now you have your group so you need to atract them somehow with produst benefits, which will be based on sicietifical research but aslo taken out of a context a bit.

At the end, you have to price it right. Noone is gong to trust you that it's miracle if it won't cost a fortune, isn't it?

But it would be hard to store, transport and sell carrot as it is, so why not to make it consumer friendly and sell it as a POWDER?

Vera Nutrition coach