Raise health image with 'foods for bones'

Articles
March 10, 2010

Raise health image with 'foods for bones'

Supermarkets that have upgraded their assortments and placement of healthy foods to align with consumer demand can take this strategy deeper by assembling and promoting foods according to health conditions.

Supermarkets that have upgraded their assortments and placement of healthy foods to align with consumer demand can take this strategy deeper by assembling and promoting foods according to health conditions.

One key opportunity is bone strength and the prevention of osteoporosis, in our view at F3. This is a primary concern of women as they mature. These chief household shoppers are in the stores most often, where they can select from a bevy of foods and beverages that are naturally high in calcium and vitamin D, or are enhanced to include them. 

Rather than make women hunt among 50,000 items, however, the stores that make it easier to find and purchase these items will raise their image as a health destination. 'While you shop for the family, the store is taking care of you,' would be the implied message. Why not develop a themed ad, and back it with merchandising, that highlights the calcium and vitamin D portfolio - popular items such as milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt, eggs, spinach, shrimp, sardines, orange juice, cereals and even beer? 

That's right. A University of California study examined 100 different beers for silicon content, which helps raise bone mineral density. Study findings in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found a range from 6.4mgs/liter to 56.5mgs/liter, which compares with a person's average daily intake of 20mgs to 50mgs. Pale ales had the highest amounts, while non-alcoholic beers, light lagers and wheat beers had the least, according to a Reuters account of the study.

Nielsen Label Trends data for products bearing calcium claims throughout the store -calcium presence, comparative calcium claims, excellent source of calcium, good source of calcium - show demand largely sustained in the recession, even if deflation has cut into dollar sales. By examining equivalized unit volume data as a demand indicator in this period, F3 finds growth occurring, for example, in cheese, up 4.3% in U.S. food stores doing $2 million and over in annual sales (excluding supercenters) in the 52 weeks ended January 23, 2010 vs. the prior year. The sizable cheese segments in which EUV grew the most on a percentage basis: mozzarella, up 13.2%; shredded, up 11.4%; and specialty/imported, up 88.4%.

Yogurt posted a 10.8% EUV rise over the latest 52-week period. Hot cereal rang up an 18.3% EUV increase vs. a 2.9% EUV decline in ready-to-eat cereals. Shelf-stable juices and drinks delivered a 7.3% EUV gain, continuing a run of four successive annual advances; in prior years this segment was up 12.7%, 35.0% and 10.5%, leading into the latest period.

The cottage cheese/sour cream/topping segment rebounded with a 2.1% EUV rise vs. a 12.3% decline in the prior year. This was led by a 15.4% EUV gain by ricotta cheese in the most recent 52 weeks vs. an 11.1% drop in the year-earlier period.

Although ice cream took a recessionary hit of 19.3% this past 52 weeks, following high double-digit EUV gains in the three prior years, the relatively small frozen yogurt segment managed to grow EUV by 1.4% vs. a 43.4% plummet the year before.