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Health and wellbeing the shopper perspective


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Health and wellbeing is a subject of increasing concern among shoppers, retailers and manufacturers. The pressure is well and truly on - from government, press and consumers - for brands to demonstrate their health credentials. Indeed the number of health related initiatives from FMCGs has snowballed in recent times.

But how do shoppers respond to the plethora of different health initiatives aimed in their direction at the point of purchase? Which messages actually work with shoppers and which don’t? These are key questions of our forthcoming project, “Health and Wellbeing: The Shoppers’ Perspective” - and we believe there are a whole number of different dimensions to consider.

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Health and wellbeing the shopper perspective

  1. 1. Health and Wellbeing: The Shopper Evolution Insights explains why FMCGs should seek Perspective to understand how shoppers respond to different health initiatives at the point of purchase, in addition to how they behave as consumers. “The pressure is well and Health and the shopper Clearly gender is a key, truly on - from although Evolution’s recent government, press and Health and wellbeing is a research suggests that younger males in particular consumers - for brands to subject of increasing concern among shoppers, are beginning to catch up demonstrate their health with females in regard to credentials” retailers and manufacturers. The health concerns. Indeed pressure is well and truly age is another dimension, on - from government, and with generation Y male “With generation Y male shoppers carrying greater shoppers carrying greater press and consumers - for brands to demonstrate concerns over health than concerns over health than their predecessors, their health credentials. their predecessors, Indeed the number of targeting females only with targeting females only health related initiatives health messages may now with health messages may from FMCGs has only form part of the snowballed in recent times. equation. now only form part of the equation” But how do shoppers Granted, males may well be respond to the plethora of less susceptible to dietary different health initiatives claims than females, but aimed in their direction at there are other ways of the point of purchase? targeting men with health Which messages actually credentials. Just consider work with shoppers and for a moment the which don’t? These are key difference in marketing questions of our message between Diet forthcoming project, Coke and Coke Zero. “Health and Wellbeing: The Shopper Perspective” - and Shopper missions we believe there are a whole number of different Shopper missions are of dimensions to consider. vital consideration. The motivations and behaviours A multi-dimensional of shoppers conducting problem their weekly supermarket 1
  2. 2. trolley shop, versus those in their local c-store is for “The motivations and while snacking on-the-go example typically driven by behaviours of shoppers convenience ahead of for example, are quite conducting their weekly price, in contrast to a different. supermarket trolley shop, weekly supermarket versus those while shopper. But does their Consider a shopper who susceptibility to messages snacking on-the-go carefully ponders over about health differ from for example, are quite their purchases on the the weekly supermarket different.” weekly shop. Planning shopper? Is a one size fits meals for the week ahead, all approach the best they might adopt a strategy for targeting disciplined approach at this shoppers with messages one time of the week about health and where they know they can wellbeing? control their consumption for the whole week ahead. This shopper may even Don’t forget the category intentionally avoids ‘sin aisles’ in the supermarket Of course the other altogether. And yet obvious dimension here is consider the same shopper category. While shoppers picking up a bar of carry underlying values chocolate or packet of relating to health and crisps at the checkout, wellbeing as a whole, their whom rather than paying motivations and any attention to any health behaviours vary by messaging on the category as well as mission packaging, justifies their and channel. Confectionery indulgence as permissible for example, while often on the basis of a associated with health ‘debit/credit’ mind-set – concerns, is also they might simply be considered by many rewarding themself for the shoppers a permissible sacrifices made earlier. treat – and one that offers good value for its calories Channel strategy is also an in terms of indulgence and important and related part hunger satisfaction. of the mix. We know that Perhaps of more relevance shoppers shop by mission, to many shoppers are the not by channel, but their less intuitive categories mission often directly such as dairy or bakery, influences their choice of where there is less of an channel. A top-up shopper excuse for indulgence and 2
  3. 3. more of an opportunity to alternatives is quite “Our recent on-the-go plan and consider healthier different to targeting a study highlighted that alternatives. shopper who has healthy while 38% of shoppers say aspirations but is in reality they consider calories Attitudes versus action more likely to favour while shopping on-the-go, indulgence over a compromise in taste. only 6% actually chose Then there’s the question individual items because of what people say versus of their calorie content” what they actually do in- Another dimension to store. Our recent on-the-go consider here is the study highlighted that consumer shopper while 38% of shoppers say relationship. While the “Notable examples of importance here certainly they consider calories shopper marketing while shopping on-the-go, varies by category, there initiatives to date that only 6% actually chose are clearly occasions seek to tackle the health individual items because of where careful their calorie content. This consideration of this issue include calorie dynamic is necessary. And marked packaging, has important implications for brands considering how again, channel plays a key product re-engineering, role. Consider the to balance health claims traffic light labelling and with any potential trade off difference in motivations nutritional information on in taste or brand. Indeed a between the mother on a pack” recent study* suggests that weekly shop buying snacks making a health claim on a for her children, and her product can lead children themselves buying consumers to think it is snacks at the local less tasty and therefore independent or c-store on less desirable. their way home from school or college. Segmenting shoppers Shopper marketing initiatives Underpinning all of this is the broader set of values different shoppers carry Some notable examples of when it comes to health shopper marketing and wellbeing. Classic initiatives to date that seek segmentation of shoppers to tackle the health issue according to their attitudes include calorie marked regarding health goes a packaging, product re- long way - the approach to engineering, traffic light targeting a shopper who labelling, nutritional proactively seeks healthier information on pack, and 3
  4. 4. indeed broader claims And a study** into traffic “With only 6% of on-the- relating to ‘5 a day’. light labelling on go shoppers purchasing convenience food last year items because of calorie Others have chosen to showed consumers content, Evolution believes focus more specifically on actually bought fewer shoppers buying snacks healthy ready meals after more scientific claims traffic-light labels were may not be as receptive to relating to pro-biotic’s, added. information on packaging omega 3s and heart as perhaps was first healthy ingredients, and some even look to leverage In summary thought” the connection many shoppers make (rightly or At Evolution, we believe wrongly) between that shopper insight is “To truly understand the premium, organic and central to a successful health. strategy for communicating shopper, manufacturers health credentials. To truly and retailers should seek understand the shopper, But while all these to understand how manufacturers and different initiatives may shoppers respond to well be successful, retailers should seek to different health initiatives marketers should be understand how shoppers at the point of purchase, in careful to consider the respond to different health different dimensions of the initiatives at the point of addition to how they purchase, in addition to behave as consumers.” shopper before jumping on the bandwagon. how they behave as ” consumers. For example, with only 6% of on-the-go shoppers Communicating with purchasing items because shoppers, finding out of calorie content, which messages actually Evolution believes work and which don’t - in shoppers buying snacks the context of the different may not be as receptive to dimensions presented information on packaging above – are key steps to as perhaps was first success. thought. For further information regarding Evolution’s Claims that seek to dazzle forthcoming project, shoppers with science may “Health and Wellbeing: The well be treated with Shopper Perspective”, caution rather than trust please do not hesitate to by shoppers. contact us. 4
  5. 5. Evolution Insights Ltd * ‘Health claims could impact natural perception’, About Evolution Insights Food & Drink Europe, Evolution Insights is a research led 10/03/10 consultancy specialising in shopper marketing. We deliver original research, analysis and insight into ** Red? Go ahead, say shopper motivations and behaviour indifferent shoppers, The for manufacturers, retailers and agencies. Grocer, 09/11/09 For more information please visit E-mail: Tel: 0113 389 1038 Evolution Insights Ltd is a private limited company registered in the UK with registered number 07006001. Evolution Insights Ltd, Prospect House, 32 Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BJ. © Evolution Insights Ltd. All rights reserved. 5