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Nov 11

Getting Rid of the Excess!

Corporate initiatives to lower sodium, sugar and other not so healthy ingredients in packaged foods/beverages may be a proactive response to mounting consumer demands for more nutritious foods with less negative health implications. Additionally, corporate decision makers are feeling the heat from emerging and imminent government regulations "encouraging" reduction of detrimental health-robbing food components and additives. From the increase in corporate wellness programs, to Walmart's announcement to provide healthier and more nutritious food at lower prices, corporations realize they better get on board if they want to remain relevant and positioned for success. After all, consumers are becoming more vocal and determined about their desire to live healthier and are using their spending dollars to increase the volume of their discontent and make their concerns heard.

NMI provides insights into how consumers are reevaluating products in the market based upon these emerging attitudes and concerns.

Getting Rid of the Excess

From food contamination issues, corporate mistrust, over-processing, and negative additives, consumers are realizing they have to be more diligent about monitoring all aspects of their food making decisions from where the food originates, to how it is processed, and ultimately, to what benefits it provides.

Therefore it is not surprising that consumers are looking to get back to basics, to minimize, and are looking for more natural and recognizable ingredients in the products they purchase. This trend is revealed by consumers' growing commitment to look for foods and beverages with a short list of recognizable ingredients, a commitment which has grown from about a third of the U. S. population in 2006 to almost half of all consumers today. Even further, one of the main reasons consumers cite as to why they initiated use of natural foods is "avoidance" - avoidance of toxins, GMOs, additives, and hormones (note consumer perception confusion). In fact, NMI research has found that consumption of natural foods and beverages as a means of maintaining a healthy lifestyle has increased more than 25% from 2001.

The addition or presence of a child in the household magnifies consumers' diligence when monitoring food and beverage content. A majority of parents admit they became more concerned about the amount of pesticides, preservatives and additives, and antibiotics and hormones in foods and beverages after they had a child. Manufacturers have to be even more cognizant of artificial and negative ingredients if their products are targeted toward children. Not only are parents keeping a watchful eye, but it would be remiss to think that government authorities will not continue to crack down on unhealthy food products targeted at children.