By John Kell
March 11, 2016

Consumer goods purveyors are on to the American public: they know this crowd loves a good story.

Buzz words have always been a big component of marketing the latest goods, whether sold by startup brands or big behemoths. These days, it is all about promises that items being sold are “all natural,” “non-GMO,” or “organic.” Other trendy terms: “cage free” and “gluten-free.”

These days, it is all about being “transparent” and telling a story about how brands big and small formulate their products — in a healthy way.

Consumers are often willing to pay more for the goods they feel, well, good about. But that marketing strategy can backfire when things go wrong — or if regulators or courts find the product doesn’t live up to its promises.

Fortune takes a look at five brands that faced criticism in recent months about the pristine brand equity they had built.


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