Capitalizing on an Attentive Crowd

Articles
January 18, 2011

Capitalizing on an Attentive Crowd

What can providing and promoting allergy friendly food options do for your store? Well turns out, a lot.

What can providing and promoting allergy friendly food options do for your store? Well turns out, a lot. According to a BusinessWire article featuring AllergyEats’ founder Paul Antico, leveraging products designed for food allergy and Celiac disease consumers will not only affect the 5 percent who have either a known food allergy, or gluten intolerance, but will undoubtedly multiply to their family and friends as well- not to mention those who restrict certain “allergens” for other reasons.

Supermarkets should recognize the tremendous spending power of this sensitive community, especially when they can be sure their health is being taken seriously. Antico hypothesizes that 20 percent of the food allergic population does not feel comfortable dining out, while another 20 percent will try to eat anywhere; that still leaves 9 million allergic diners that can be won over by allergy-friendly offerings.

Most of us don’t eat alone, especially children who have statistically, a greater prevalence of food allergies; there are at least two to three people eating together, therefore winning over those with food allergies doesn’t just increase your potential by a few percent, but exponentially.

Antico also comments on the “veto vote” as a key deciding factor for parties accommodating a friend or family member with a food allergy. When one person has an allergy, food choices are usually determined by choosing foods that everyone can enjoy, or choosing an establishment that can please everyone in the party.

The argument is clear and the benefits of providing allergy free options for a captive audience, as well as training staff in allergy safety, creating “free from” menu options, ingredient lists, and seeking industry certifications, will not only pay off financially but customers will undoubtedly appreciate that their health is priority.