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Takeaways: Heart of the matter

Heart health is a wide-sweeping issue affecting the global population. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States...

Heart health is a wide-sweeping issue affecting the global population. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States, contributing to more than 600,000 deaths annually. Fortunately, wide-sweeping nutritional solutions are available to support healthy hearts. To be successful in this category, consider the following trends impacting heart health.

Claims caution. Permissible claims concerning cardiovascular health are ever-narrowing, resulting from increased consumer understanding—what FDA calls a “continuum” of knowledge and understanding—of heart disease and its related conditions. For example, claims regarding cholesterol are severely limited because consumers automatically conflate the discussion of cholesterol levels with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Though challenging for marketers in the heart health space, compliance is critical. Allowable claims based on current interpretations and understanding of the consumers' “education” level should be made, and supported by adequate scientific substantiation.

Scientific support. Science serves as an ongoing opportunity to broaden the potential health benefits of natural ingredients. In the heart health space, innovative proprietary ingredients and category newcomers such as probiotics and curcumin are finding potential to impact the heart, as new research suggests. However, scientific studies can be limiting, and even longtime category favorites can be subjected to the effects of inadequate studies or inadequate interpretation of studies. Research is key to realizing the potential of new and old ingredients alike, but even long-supported ingredients can be impacted by how research is interpreted and conveyed to consumers.

Age appeal. Heart health isn’t just a concern for older consumers. Data from Natural Marketing Institute’s (NMI) Health & Wellness Trends Database illuminates clear age differentiations on how consumers manage heart health. While active management is correlated with age, concerns are inversely related to age with the highest level of concern associated with Millennials. Understanding who this issue most fully impacts and what they see as the most viable solutions can provide opportunities to make progress in addressing heart health. Additionally, Millennials express high levels of concerns about preventing future heart health complications, which opens the door for opportunistic messaging. This food/beverage messaging is particularly targeted, as Millennials are the most likely to place importance on diet, and on organic foods and beverages, in particular.

For more, download The Healthy Heart: Supplements for a Strong Ticker digital magazine.

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