The hunt is on for a Kiwi icon to sell infant formula without being culturally offensive

June 1, 2011

But is this a good way to sell canned baby formula?

In a follow-up to an item posted here the other day, Alf observes that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has done things differently from Tariana Turia.

It has investigated a Maori-branded infant formula being exported to China (and Tariana is bound to appreicate that this has been done).

The contents of the cans of baby tucker were given first priority and – we are told – they meet all food safety and export regulations.

MAF now will look at marketing and labelling considerations.

Tariana Turia, our Associate Minister of Health, did things the other way around and made the branding (with Maori imagery) her first concern.

She can chalk this up as a triumph because the company that is peddling this stuff is now looking for a new brand.

Kiaora’s experience will be instructive for other companies that come to this country (as they are bound to do, because of the asset fire sale that is now under way to help us settle our debts).

Nobody gets too excited about foreigners slapping an English word on a product.

But if they use a Maori word, they had better be ready for a fight with our special people, who can be very possessive about Maori words.

Read the rest of this entry »

Baby food company gets it in the neck from Tariana for upsetting midwives with its branding

May 28, 2011

It looks innocent enough ... but Tariana Turia is on the warpath.

We have much to learn from Tariana Turia.

For example, maybe we should get much more excited about the brand names of the stuff we peddle than with the wholesomeness of the contents of a can.

More obviously, we should draw up a list of iconic and sacred words that should be eschewed when products are branded.

Take baby food for example.

An outfit in Auckland called Kiaora New Zealand International might have been better to go into the greeting card business than the food busienss.

Read the rest of this entry »