Ever bite into a succulent strawberry only to find that it tastes like … nothing?

What has happened to strawberries is the same thing that’s happened to content.

See, strawberries have been optimized. Farmers found that producing berries that were LARGE! and RED! fetched a better price … and so they began tinkering with the breeding process.

Result: You can now buy a strawberry the size of a small child’s fist at your local grocery store, in any season of the year.

On top of that, these “inbred” strawberry bombs lack the nutritional value of organic strawberries.

Strawberrry growers, no doubt, felt they’d achieved a win. But did they? When was the last time the taste of a fresh strawberry stopped you in your tracks and made you close your eyes so you could take in the flavor?

Does Inbred Content Meet Daily Nutritional Requirements?

So can we just say it? There’s a lot of bad content out there. (We said it.)

Companies may feel like they’re doing content strategy in an effective way because they put a lot of pretty, SEO-optimized words on their websites.

But what are they really offering? Is their content saying anything? Is it stopping people in their tracks?

If it’s not, then they’re offering the equivalent of genetically-modified content. No taste. No nutritional value.

However, some brands are aiming higher. Chipotle, for example, is taking some high-value content real estate – the sides of its cups and bags – and is using it to inspire, educate, and amuse with its Cultivating Thought series. Heavy-duty authors, thinkers and yes, even comedians, were asked to contribute original content so customers can indulge in some intellectual curiosity while they scarf down their burritos.

It’s unlikely that Chipotle thinks this initiative is going to result in a direct increase in dollars. However, it’s betting that meeting its audience at a higher level will be a novel way to build engagement. They’re betting that  people want to be treated like people (with brains and, yes, taste buds), and not just mindless consumers.

People want to taste something when they bite into that strawberry.