'Healthy' Labels Key Factor For Today's Food And Beverage Buyer

Jeremie Bohbot

Jeremie Bohbot

Dec 26, 2012 – Off The Menu

LOS ANGELES , December 20, 2012 () – Buying a product with some sort of healthy food label makes me feel better about myself. The thing can be loaded with sugar, saturated fat and have hundreds of calories per serving, but if I’m buying something that says “low cholesterol” or “high fiber,” then I’m eating healthy as far as I’m concerned.

The latest data shows I’m not alone. According to research by the Mintel Group, 69% of Americans who eat any breakfast foods during the week consider low-cholesterol or heart-healthy claims important when selecting food they typically eat for breakfast. Additionally, 65% think low fat and high fiber are significant health-related attributes when selecting breakfast foods.

Here’s the thing you have to understand about today’s consumers: While more of us than ever are paying more attention to the healthfulness of a food or beverage product, we’re also extremely money conscious given the state of today’s economy. And for most of us, the latter will take priority. Hence, the purchase of less healthy food and beverage products because they’re generally cheaper than healthier products.

That’s what makes the “healthy” label so important. If you put something on the packaging implying that these products are good for you—and it can be anything. Take your pick: Low cholesterol, high in fiber, heart healthy, trans-fat free, 98% fat free, 100 calories per serving—then we’re buying it over and over again. Because you’ve just satisfied both of your needs: Healthfulness and cheapness.

If your product isn’t selling, try a healthy label. I’ll buy it.

Nevin Barich is the Food & Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence Inc. If the food product he’s buying says “low cholesterol” on it, then he’s eating healthy as far as he’s concerned. He can be reached at n.barich@industryintel.com

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