School’s starting again and so is the battle. Parents and schools are trying to push healthier snack choices for their kids as alternatives to the sugary, salty options they prefer. It’s a losing proposition ... unless marketers can find ways to make healthy hip.

Enter in Bolthouse Farms and 50 other growers of baby carrots. Yup. Baby carrots are about to become cool. Very cool. A recent USA Today article, “Baby carrots take on junk food with hip marketing campaign,” shows how the $1 billion dollar baby carrot business is about to take on the $18 billion salty snack food crowd on their own turf.

For starters, how about packaging these crunchy little orange wonders in bags like salty snacks?

How about selling them out of vending machines?

How about putting slogans on billboards like: “The original orange doodles”?

How about tying in carrots to kids’ seasonal interests? (e.g., “Scarrots” are planned for Halloween.)

How about a phone app that lets kids hear people munching on carrots in real time? Or TV spots that depict baby carrots as “extreme” and futuristic?

Is this all part of a master anti-junk food campaign? According to Bolthouse Farms CEO, Jeff Dunn, it isn’t. “It takes a page out of junk food’s playbook and applies it to baby carrots.” As a former president of Coca-Cola North America, Mr. Dunn understands these concepts very well.

Will this be enough to turn kids on to a healthy snack? Some are saying “no.” Unless something is done to jazz up the carrots, kids are likely to be disappointed when the find out what’s really in these cool little snack bags. How about putting an orange, but natural dusting on the carrots so they’re more like Cheetos, psychologist Carol Moog suggests.

Snack giant Frito-Lay’s take? “We applaud any effort to provide consumers with a wider range of snacking options.” Uh-huh.

So Daily Fix readers:

Will these marketing efforts be enough to get kids crunching on baby carrots?

Could something else be done to put more zing into the product or packaging? How about selling carrots with a packet of cool ranch dip or a neon orange dusting, for example?

Should the baby carrot marketers engage kids with interactive apps or contests?

What do you think?

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Ted Mininni is president and creative director of Design Force, a leading brand-design consultancy.

LinkedIn: Ted Mininni