I have always been interested in actually sticking with a blog and reviewing products that I use that I want to share with others, or similarly, review products that companies send bloggers for positive reviews, as long as they are a reputable product/organization, of course. One of my favorite bloggers is Candace Moore (yogabycandace.com) who is a blogger and yoga instructor. She posts lifestyle and health posts as well as reviews for products and items that are sent to her. She is very health conscious and only reviews select items. She gets free stuff in the mail all the time. How cool is that? She gets paid to do yoga, eat well and write; not a bad gig. This post will be a meta-review while also compiling a mock content analysis for the brand that I will be reviewing.
The product I am focusing on is Full Circle’s tea. Full Circle (fullcirclefoods.com), a Topco brand, teamed up with Project 7, an organization which sells gourmet mints and gum, with the mission to prove that “little purchases when added up, can pull many people together and make life changing impacts every day of the week” (project7.com/pages/mission). These little purchases impact 7 different areas which the organization focuses on: Save the Earth, House the Homeless, Feed the Hungry Quench the Thirsty, Heal the Sick, Teach them Well, and Hope for Peace. The partnership with Full Circle focuses on hunger in the United States and the partnership expands past just gums and mints and can be found on a full line of grocery products (fullcircleproject7.com/products) including the tea I am currently drinking.
I wanted to research more into Project 7 and the Full Circle brand, because I am always skeptical of the bigger players b
ehind the brands, in this case, Topco (topco.com/). The company is an LLC comprised of 50 member-owners from the supermarket and wholesale world. Many of the members are well-known including Casey’s, Coborn’s, Piggly Wiggly, and my hometown favorite, the local Stater Bros. Their website is pretty corporate but fairly easy to navigate. They host a Home, About Us, Members, Brands, Programs, News, Sustainability, Careers, and Vendors tabs, making navigation on the website fairly straightforward. From there I was able to navigate to the Full Circle website from the Topco’s Brands page, underneath their Health and Wellness subcategory tab.
Full Circle’s website provide a lot of information and is a lot more creative and appealing than the Topco site. They do not display tabs at the top of their website but instead the user scrolls through and sees snippets of information available to click, and scrolling pictures hyperlinked to other pages on the site. Full Circle carries an entire line of home products from seafood and produce to health care products. The site also has a link to recipes and also a healthy lifestyle blog. They also list on their main page the organizations and programs they support including Marine Stewardship and Fair Trade Certified, both demonstrating what market they are playing to. Frequently the user is shown a questions or comments link, making me think that they might actually care (whoa). The only social media the website links to is their Facebook, which has only 3000 likes and their posts have very few likes. Their posts appear to typically be recipes which link to their website, or pictures with a quote or caption pertaining to a certain holiday/significance. They post frequently, every other day or so, which I think is reasonable. It would be interesting to see them post more lifestyle blog link, which were fairly numerable on their website but I do not see much of on the Facebook. I think they would get a lot more likes if they played to a larger audience, considering they sell more than just grocery items.
You are unable to get to the partnership page between Full Circle + Project 7 from the Full Circle Site, which was kind of irritating. You have to go and type in fullcircleproject7.com which takes you to their website. The main page gives the user the options: Learn More, Products, Partners & Tracking, and Hunger Facts. I have two qualms with this page: first, they do not have a link to the Project 7 website anywhere transparent but only at the very bottom of the site, just in case you were looking for the copyright date? Second, under the Partners & Tracking tab, they have nothing. There is a “note” saying to “please check back soon for information on our participating retail partners and how many meals have been provided to-date through Full Circle + Project 7 program”. Okay, cool. How long has that been there? I got off of their pretty quick because all the other tabs were flops too: the Hunger Facts tab had many 4 stats listed (not even an infograph!) which seems like a wasted opportunity to me.
I navigated over to the Project 7 page which contains besides the Home page an About, Shop, Mission, Buzz, and Jobs tabs. Also at the top of the page is the friggin’ laundry list of platforms the organization hosts including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube. They have around 32,000 likes on Facebook and their posts are diverse and cute! The posts themselves only have a few likes but the content is much more varied than the Full Circle’s FB. Their Twitter not only posts the cute links from their FB but they also retweet relevant posts from the organizations they follow. They have 17,000 Twitter followers and they follow over 2,200 sites themselves. Their Pinterest looks very well put together, with 27 boards including “Holiday Flavors” to “Causes We Support”. This good variation makes me wish their Pinterest presence was better, and as someone who is on Pinterest a lot, I have never seen a Project 7 pin. Their Instagram only has the photos they post on FB so that’s a flop. They have almost 10,000 followers but all the images are digitally created and there are no images of, oh I don’t know, the people all around the world they help? They haven’t posted on their Tumblr since 2014, they have a PhotoBucket place holder for their use-to-be cover photo. What is that? Annoying: delete it. Their YouTube has 3 videos. Two from their work in Haiti which in mine opinion should be available on their website. They also have a video from their partnership with 7Up in 2014 to help in all 7 areas, but I had never heard of this initiative before, making me wonder if it every happened. The premise is with every purchase you use the bottle cap code to donate to a cause of your choice, the exact mission Project 7 focuses on, demonstrating that every small purchase makes a difference.
There it is! The conclusion of my review, starting with a cup of green tea. It tastes even better knowing that it goes to a good cause, and it was valuable to see where it came from and how each organization (or partnership) represented themselves online. It was interesting to see that an organization which I believe to be fairly large, could have such random gaps in their online content, which can lead people to think less of their brand, or could even affect how many people know about their brand.