Nutrition On-The-Go... Easier Said Than Done

Americans’ desire for healthy options continues to be a powerful trend that packaged food companies can’t ignore.  Further, a recent report shows that American consumers want convenient nutritious options for both meals and snacks.  The industry is responding, with new brands constantly entering the market.

Growth in the “healthy on-the-go” category, seen in research published by Mintel, shows that nearly 40% of consumers are replacing a sit-down meal with a nutritional drink.  Similarly, snacking has never been more popular in the United States, with 94% of Americans having at least one snack per day.   

While many Americans are looking for nutritious options for snacks and meals, they remain confused about what is healthy. So much so, that the International Food Information Council’s research shows that 52% of Americans believe that figuring out their income taxes is easier than understanding what they should or shouldn’t eat to be healthier.  With so many brands hurrying to enter the on-the-go market, many marketers are skipping the most fundamental step in the marketing process: explaining why their product(s) should be considered healthy.   

Amid this rush to meet consumer demand,  it remains imperative for healthy brands to distinguish themselves as better-for-you options. These brands need to make an effort to clearly communicate the nutritious attributes of their product. 

But what is even more important is that consumers need help understanding what is healthy, and what is not.  By telling consumers why brands are healthy, they can gain and retain these customers who are searching the shelves for nutritious on-the-go options. 

How can marketers do that?  Through face-to-face interactions with health influencers. According to IFIC, consumers trust health influencers via personal interactions more than any other source for health and wellness advice. This is because they can answer questions in a way that bloggers and social media cannot.  Additionally, influencers can help consumers in cutting through the confusing better-for-you clutter.

These health professionals impact consumer decisions everyday. Through education, these influencers will advocate on behalf of healthy brands.  It’s a simple solution to a nutrition-on-the go consumer conundrum. For the nutrition on-the-go category, there has never been a time more important to educate influencers than right now.