Shoppers Struggle to Buy Healthy

A new consumer attitude research study conducted by Catalina Marketing, which provides shopper-driven marketing solutions, shows despite the industry’s healthy-eating consumer initiatives, shoppers have not changed their old buying habits, behavior and perceptions.

“We will use this study to make it easier for both manufacturers and retailers to help shoppers make healthy, nutritious choices in every aisle of the store,” said Sharon Glass, Catalina Marketing’s group vice president of health, wellness and beauty. “It uncovers what shoppers really want and how to design programs or services that best align with their needs. Making smart nutritional choices can notably improve overall health and how we feel each day.”

The study, done with the support of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and titled, “Helping Shoppers Overcome the Barriers to Choosing Healthful Foods,” shows that Americans continue to face hurdles when planning, shopping and preparing healthier meals.

The online study surveyed more than 2,500 male and female adults across the U.S.  over the age of 21 with primary responsibility for the grocery shopping in their homes. The study provides guidance on how the industry can best help shoppers to make positive choices in nutrition and lifestyle management.

Highlights of the Study:

* 50% of shoppers feel that their supermarket helps them make healthful choices.

* 36% believe their supermarket helps them manage or reduce their risk of specific health concerns.

* 38% of shoppers reported that their grocery store provides information on foods and beverages that can help manage their personal health concerns.

* 25% believe that store employees are knowledgeable about nutrition. But less than one-third of respondents feel that supermarket employees were knowledgeable enough to provide assistance about nutrition, vitamins, nutritional supplements and over-the-counter health remedies.

* 77% believe healthy food is expensive and more than 80% say coupons for healthy products encourage healthy shopping.

* 59% feel that healthy foods and beverages generally taste good. Fast food fans are the least likely to agree that healthy options generally taste good.

* 69% of shoppers are interested in having their store stock freshly prepared, healthy meals and 64% are interested in programs that recommend healthier options for the products they generally buy through messages printed at the checkout or Web site tools.

* 51% of respondents with children find it hard to plan healthy meals.

* More than 40% of shoppers are interested in supermarkets providing recipes and information for specific health concerns, health screening services, nutritional counseling and personalized wellness plans.

In addition, the study points out that one third of shoppers are interested in programs that require their active participation, such as in-store cooking demonstrations, hands-on cooking lessons and store tours for healthy products. According to the findings, shoppers want a combination of convenience; cost, taste and messaging that will motivate them to replace fast food meals with healthier options.

“Our members want an integrated approach to creating comprehensive health and wellness programs,” said Cathy Polley, vice president, health and wellness executive director of FMI Foundation, Food Marketing Institute. “Catalina Marketing’s blueprint can help them make health and wellness a reality in their supermarket.”

The study concludes that supermarkets are uniquely positioned to implement wellness programs that will connect shoppers with relevant products throughout the store – ultimately transforming grocery trips into healthy shopping experiences.

Shoppers are interested in programs that require minimal effort; provide assistance when shopping for healthy products; ideas for easy-to-prepare healthy meals, and cost saving offers for products that meet their food preferences and health concerns. The information provided to shoppers must be conveyed in a simple, easy to understand format, delivered directly to the shopper or prominently displayed in the store.

For more information and to download a copy of the study, visit:





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