I’m in the emergency room with my son. Skateboard spill gone bad. As long as he does not move his arm he is comfortable. So much for his movie with friends (The Social Network). So much for the adult dinner and play. So I’m eating a banana, and a strawberry Oikos yogurt. My son knows it’s made by Stonyfield Farm. He just commented, “I feel sorry for Chobani. Everywhere I go I see Oikos where I used to see Chobani. And I bet Chobani is way better because Greek yogurt is all they do.”
My consumer anthropologist ears picked up. His simple statement was HUGE. Why? Because not that long ago, a 15-year-old would likely have believed the yogurt from a big company was better. And given that Stonyfield Farm is as progressive a large food company as you will find, my son’s assessment was all the more dramatic.
I think about how hard it is for an institution or a business to retain trust when it achieves major growth. This levels the playing field for the little guy. That’s good, but we need trustworthy big companies that don’ t get written off too. I’m going to seek Stoneyfield Farm’s point of view on this issue. It has to be top of mind in this era that is starting to dramatically favor David over Goliath.