Earlier this week, the Frito-Lay company announced the launch of its new "chip tracker," which allows people to log onto their website and enter their zip code to find out where their newly purchased potato chips were made.
According to Frito Lay, the idea is to support American farmers. According to critics, the idea is to fool consumers into thinking that Frito Lay chips are "locally grown," which is not true since their potatoes are grown and harvested on industrial farms. But regardless of the nuances of Frito Lay's new "chip tracker" program, it's clear that the company is trying to capitalize on a trend that only real small businesses can create and project as an authentic part of their brand's personality.
As statistics continue to show that people want to buy locally made products from people in their own communities, I predict that over the course of the next decade, the most successful participants in just about any industry will be companies with a strong local presence that demonstrate a sincere commitment to support agriculture, family and industry of all kinds right in their own back yards. Frito Lay and other capitalist copy cats can say and do what they want, but consumers can spot a capitalist copy cat a mile away.
If you are a small business owner who makes products in the local community where some of the ingredients in those products are created, you have a hugely important and appealing story to share with the world.
Question: Does your small business stand strong in support of your local community? How do you convey that commitment to your customers and other stakeholders in support of your business goals to be a good corporate citizen while sustaining a healthy profit margin? Share your "locally made" story in the comments section below.