Informa Exhibitions and the Natural Marketing Institute conducted interviews with over 1,000 consumers to find out what consumers want for their health-related products, and then evaluated whether or not those priorities match those of the product suppliers. Keynote speakers Steve French, MBA and Heather Granato presented some disconnects in these priorities within several major categories, including weight management, probiotics, and protein enrichment, during their presentation at the recent Ingredient Marketplace Expo in Orlando, FL.
French and Granato identified the primary product purchase drivers – consumers want energy to do things, have less fatigue and stress, and enjoy life with their family. According to French and Granato, consumers are generally looking for real food (natural ingredients), safe products with clean labels, and proven effectiveness, and are typically influenced by the recommendations of others (such from their doctor). They presented five groups of consumers: Well Beings, Food Actives, Magic Bullets, Fence Sitters, and Eat, Drink and Be Merry. “Well Beings” are the first product ambassadors said French. While the “Fence Sitters” are generally characterized as busy younger adults raising young families and searching for convenience and healthier products (also identified by French as “mom bloggers” or trend setters who share stories with other “Fence Sitters”), the majority of the consumers have a macro vision for overall health.
What are the Disconnects?
French and Granato presented alignments in the product priorities identified by the interviewed consumers and those of the suppliers. However, according to French and Granato , there were some disconnects. We’re sharing just a couple of them below…
- Consumers want real fruit and vegetables in products at a priority level higher than that of the food, beverage and vitamin mineral supplement suppliers. Consumers are seeking bioavailability or getting the whole benefit of a product into their system.
- Consumers are motivated to lose weight to look better. French stated that the vanity of America cares more how they look than how they feel. He presented product purchase statistics on a variety of diet-related products and made at least two observations. The first is that consumers have concerns over the safety and effectiveness of supposed weight-reduction products. Second, consumers are creating their own custom weight-loss programs that fit into their lifestyles, such as choosing low-calorie beverages and deciding to skip dessert.
French also reported that every generation (from Milennials to Matures) have the same rate of digestive issues. The general rate of approximately 30% by generation is not age related even though the incidence rates of the various symptoms (e.g., constipation) may vary according to French. He recommended to the suppliers in the audience consider offering foods and beverages fortified with probiotics.
Note from WIT International on the Ingredient Marketplace Expo: We met so many bright individuals with formulations and products that are either on the market or being developed. They expressed an interest in the Polarized Water, how it is made and how it might improve upon the efficacy of their own products. They also were intrigued by the newest WIT Machine on display.
Also, we wanted to give a special shout out to the local media coverage, specifically to 941CEO and Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance Linkedin posting on WIT being selected as one of the top innovation companies by the Global Health and Nutrition Network.