With 12 percent of American adults actively engaged in using weight management products, they’re increasingly turning to specialized foods and drinks—including low-calorie foods, bars and pre-packaged meals—to do so, instead of supplements. This was just one of the findings from the inaugural Mind of the Consumer study, being presented at Ingredient Marketplace in late April. Developed in partnership with the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), we sought to explore and understand consumer expectations and perceptions related to top health issues. The team also examined ingredient suppliers and their perceptions in regards to consumer demand, allowing comparison between what suppliers are doing compared to consumer needs. Interestingly, while weight management has obvious health benefits, products focusing on weight loss for appearance aren’t as common—despite the fact that consumers say that’s the main driver for using these products. And often, they’re just going back to basics, reducing calories and sugar and focusing on more natural foods and beverages versus pre-packaged options. That said, smoothies are growing in popularity, with 34 percent of weight managers using those products, and 70 percent of those consumers using more than they did last year.
The Mind of the Consumer findings are not just focused around weight management, but also delve into sports nutrition, digestive health, protein, omega-3s and probiotics. These insights will showcase areas of opportunity for marketers, manufacturers and suppliers to develop and launch new products successfully.
Interested in learning more? Join us on Friday, April 29, at Ingredient Marketplace for the inaugural presentation of the Mind of the Consumer research findings. NMI’s Steve French and I look forward to sharing insights across the focus areas and looking at where the areas of opportunity lie.