Where Will Shoppers Turn for Nutrients?

Articles
August 19, 2010

Where Will Shoppers Turn for Nutrients?

First people hear not to fully trust the content figures per dose of vitamins and supplements because the FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements.

First people hear not to fully trust the content figures per dose of vitamins and supplements because the FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements. Then they hear cautions against fortified foods (such as vitamins, minerals or herbs added to bottled water) because many are water-soluble and won’t be absorbed by the body.

Where should a nutrients seeker turn? A safe bet is always in fruits, vegetables and other healthful foods and beverages where nutrients naturally occur.  People do tend to know this, yet they still buy plenty of products with nutrients added where they can’t completely predict what they get for their money.

Retailers should take note of new global research by Ipsos Marketing, Consumer Goods Sector, that shows people in 23 countries are more interested in buying foods and beverages that offer better digestive health, increased energy, weight loss and healthy blood sugar levels than they are in buying vitamins and supplements offering the same.

When it came to heart health, cancer prevention and better immunity, interest in vitamins and supplements was greater—although one-third of consumers surveyed still expressed interest in foods and beverages addressing these issues.

“The data suggests that consumers are most interested in health and wellness products in which there is already an established connection between the product and the benefit,” says Lauren Demar, CEO of the Ipsos division. “For example, there is already a connection with food and beverage products and benefits related to digestion, increased energy, weight loss and healthy blood sugar levels (corresponding to diabetes management). Therefore, consumers are more open to using food and beverages that offer these advantages.” The survey of over 21,000 people occurred between November 2009 and January 2010.

The Lempert Report eyes these results through the context of an aging populace, and a stressed America overall trying to afford good nutrition while avoiding purchase mistakes. We see opportunities for retailers to assume a greater advisory role through in-store signage, informative take-ones, and store tours and other programs established by chain dietitians. CPG, for its part, ought to be selective in its added nutrients and communicative about their wellness benefits.