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5 ways to successfully launch and promote healthy products

Julie Vigne Senior Research Director 4 August 2022

Grocery Eye 2022

Two-thirds of the UK population consider their eating habits “fairly average” when it comes to healthy food, with 24% stating to have tried to eat more healthily in the last 12 months.

This can be a challenge though, with 27% of the UK adult population believing that the cost-of-living crisis will have a negative impact on their diet.

Better understanding of what is ‘healthy’ is a key pillar of a healthier diet for a quarter of UK consumers

In the current economic context, healthy eating – and associated costs – might not be top of the agenda for UK shoppers. But with the HFSS regulation (possibly) around the corner and a sizeable interest in healthy food, how can brands and retailers push the benefits of heathy eating and successfully launch or promote healthier products?

We explored some success factors from our latest Grocery Eye report.

  1. Activation at Point of Sale to stand-out

It seems quite basic, but it still holds true. 46% of shoppers mention becoming aware of new products at shelves and 23% on grocery store websites, vs. 40% through tv ads. Capturing shoppers’ attention as they shop remains by far the most efficient way to generate a trial.

  1. Social to create buzz

Word-of-mouth is a key source of information when it comes to new products, with just over 1 in 4 shoppers relying on recommendations. But we also see strong differences in channels between generations. Unsurprisingly, in a TikTok era, Gen Zs and Millennials are much more reliant on online channels to find out about new releases with 17% of Gen Z getting their information from brand newsletters and 31% of Millennials from comments on social media. The path to purchase is increasingly moving online, driven by younger shoppers.

  1. Introductory offers to catch attention

Coupons and vouchers have strong appeal and are likely to play an even stronger role as long as high inflation impacts the grocery sector. With strong expectations of healthier products coming at a premium price, brands will need to not only demonstrate relevance but also value – nothing will do that better than an introductory offer, especially if delivered at point of sale.

  1. Health message to convince

Better understanding of what is ‘healthy’ is a key pillar of a healthier diet for a quarter of UK consumers, implying that there is still a need for education. Fruit and veg content, sugar, fat & salt content are all key considerations when assessing the healthiness of food but with only 36% checking nutritional content labels, on-pack messaging including imagery needs to do all the heavy lifting.

  1. Tasty message to reassure

Taste remains by far the main decision driver when buying food, and increasingly so as we get older (57% for Gen Z vs 78% for Baby Boomers), suggesting that this needs to remain a key element of the overall messaging.

As the rate of inflation continues to rise, the interest in healthy eating will be mitigated by a sharper focus on keeping costs down. But as shoppers look for better value for money, demonstrating that a product can be good for you and affordable at the same time can tap into our desire to be healthier. Attention-grabbing and balanced messaging will help steer consumers to make a decision at point of sale too.

For more information on how we can help understand shopping behaviours, please get in touch.

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