Kummerspeck is a German word. Literally translated it means “grief bacon” – food that helps cushion negative emotions. Somebody dies: you eat a lot to deal with the emotion. Your girlfriend ditches you: let’s bring on the Doritos. Your team loses the big game: let’s have more nachos and add a gallon of artificial cheese.

There are so many reasons to eat: Hunger, habit, boredom, reward, emotional void and detachment. You add your own reasons as you see fit.  Typically, brands try to tap into these powerful feelings and exploit them: “Everything sucks? Reward yourself by eating 2,000 calories in 2 minutes.” or “Life is boring. We give you all these games and toys while you wolf down 4,500 calories on a super-mega-duper-we-are-all-so-happy-meal.”

And so people end up asking for seat belt extensions, fail in their yearly quest to slim down after the ball dropped and pretty much remain in this sad state of “I-wish-I-could-but-I-am-too-weak”.

What would happen if brands stop exploiting people’s feelings and, instead, tap into emotions to create a better good?

  • Once you had a burger and your fries, give them advice how to work the calories off, how to supplement your diet with other food, how to live a healthier lifestyle.
  • Develop tutorials how to defeat boredom when it comes to food. There are better things in life than eating food when you don’t know what to do with yourself.
  • Promote a healthier lifestyle by developing utilities that help people keep tap on their eating/drinking/work-out schedule.

In the emerging era of Constructive Capitalism, companies need to rethink their mission and vision of the future. Being enslaved to the demands of Wall Street has lead to short-term exploitation strategies and tactics. This era is coming to an end. It’s time for enterprises to look at their values. To find a new definition for growth, outside of the Wall Street norms. Becoming more human, more connected and focusing on outcomes. Not incomes.