"I'm So Confused"

Rewind a few years and you might recall when fat was the enemy, and healthy eaters were advised to avoid it at all costs. Fast forward to today, and popular diets like Paleo, Keto, Bulletproof, and Whole30 actually encourage consumers to make fats a part of their diet.

With all of this attention and conflicting information it’s no surprise that consumers are constantly confused about which foods to eat. In fact, the 2018 IFIC Food and Health Survey found that a whopping 80% of consumers are confused about nutrition.

This consumer confusion, was also the topic of a  recent FoodNavigator webinar.

Olive is the oil consumers feel most comfortable with as it seems to have no real negative baggage, but they are conflicted and confused. They want to avoid oils they see as highly processed, and deodorized. I’ve seen a lot of stressful looks on consumers faces when they are in the oils and fats aisle.
— Melissa Abbott, Hartman Group

While specialty oils like avocado oil, sunflower oil, and pecan oil are on the rise, the American Heart Association continues to emphasize the use of all “better-for-you” oils and fats such as canola, corn, peanut, safflower, and soybean oils in addition to olive oil. Yet, despite the American Heart Association’s advice, consumers are still confused when they arrive at the store. 

The same can be said for the resurgence of full-fat dairy. Have you checked out the yogurt aisle lately? It’s loaded with products boasting that they’re made with whole milk and full-fat.  Just a few years ago, low-fat dairy products were all the rage. But today’s emerging science suggests that full-fat dairy products can actually aid with weight loss, improve heart & digestive health, and even lower one’s risk of diabetes.   

And then there’s margarine and butter. Good? Bad? Natural? 

It’s no wonder consumers are confused.  How do they sort through it all?  Many–close to 70% (IFIC)—ask their personal health professional for advice.   

It makes sense.  After all, who knows a particular consumer’s health needs better?  

We can’t predict what’s next for fats or any other food category.  But what we can predict with 100% accuracy, is that the key to helping consumers sort through the confusion is the right information. And the consumer relies on their personal health professional more than any other source for that information.  Your brand can and should be a part of these important conversations with health professionals.   Are you invested in this space?  If not, why not?