Nature's Path challenges shoppers' choices

Breakfast and snack foods maker stresses importance of consumers in the food chain

A new campaign from Nature’s Path is challenging consumers to do their part to protect the environment by making better choices in the grocery aisle.

The Richmond, B.C.-based maker of breakfast and snack foods says all consumers are essentially farmers – even if they’ve never set foot on a piece of farmland – simply through the food purchases they make.

Its message, “You’re a farmer. Yes, you” is part of a new animated video released by the company, explaining why consumers are a vital part of the food chain.

“Every time you choose something to feed your family, you cast a vote – you make a choice about what is planted and how it’s grown. You could say ‘you bought it, you planted it,’” Nature’s Path founders Arran and Ratana Stephens say in a blog post explaining the video.

“Everyone has a role to play in preserving the health of our people and the planet. And when you choose well, good things grow.”

The concept was created by Vancouver-based agency Will Creative, which was tasked with developing a campaign to celebrate the company’s values and core principles in honour of its 30th anniversary.

The short video, “We are all farmers,” represents the Nature’s Path promise to offer organic foods that respect nature’s natural course, says Nick Richards, Will Creative co-founder and executive creative director.

Richards says the “We are all farmers” tagline was intended to be a question for people to think about immediately – likely with a reaction of “No, I’m not.”

“The reality is, the decisions you make, buying one grocery item over another, have a direct impact on the type of farming philosophies and principles you are promoting,” says Richards. “It brings people closer to the ingredients … It’s quite humbling.”

He says it was a challenge to come up with a campaign that was thought provoking, without being too pushy or preachy.

“It was something we were very conscious of,” he says. “We tried our best to stay away from pushing and instead creating a story where people are left to make up their own minds about their decisions.”

At first glance viewers will likely draw comparisons to Chipotle’s “Scarecrow” and “Back to the Start” ads, but the Nature’s Path short film tells a different story, says Richards.

“Not knowing Chipotle intimately, I would think that both organizations share similar philosophies on sustainable practices and environmental concerns,” he said.

“Stylistically, the highly realistic animation (Scarecrow) and the Stop frame animation (Back to the Start) are quite different to our hand drawn animation style,” he added.

Will Creative partnered with Acme FilmWorks, which included an animator and director team from Paris.

The video is being featured on Nature’s Path’s website and Facebook page and can be found on YouTube and other social media sites. Richards says it’s a standalone campaign.

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