Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, is proposing to launch a subscription-based annual U.S. consumer research program on perceptions, insights and attitudes towards functional food ingredients for health and wellness.
In today's competitive grocery environment, food producers and other industry participants must anticipate where consumer demand is headed. No longer is meeting today's needs of the customer sufficient to ensure adequate market presence and profitability in the future. It is crucial that industry participants offer desirable products BEFORE customer demand calls for them.
Today, consumers follow food labelling, particularly the nutritional content of most foods. More than ever, they are focusing on the role of food and nutrition in promoting healthy eating habits in the family. Furthermore, awareness of the benefits of functional food ingredients is making strong headway into consumer consciousness.
"Yet, despite the strong growth in consumer awareness of health and nutritional values in various food products, industry participants often do not have key insights regarding the retail customer perspective on the market," says Shomik Majumdar, Global Vice President of the Food Practice at Frost & Sullivan. "We are proposing this program in response to our clients' needs to understand the consumer decision process and the willingness to pay for functional ingredients so as to help them better plan and execute effective marketing and pricing strategies."
Food industry participants will obtain the necessary insights regarding the consumer decision-making process with respect to foods and beverages with functional ingredients in key grocery categories, including baked goods, proteins (eggs & poultry), dairy products, confectionery, beverages, and dietary supplements Key areas that will be explored include:
• The thought and decision process behind the purchase of "healthy" food ingredients;
• Consumer awareness and knowledge of functional ingredients contained in foods;
• The types of information consumers seek;
• The sources of information they use;
• Perceptions of the impact of functional ingredients on health and well-being;
• Attitudes toward the use of supplements vs. fortified foods vs. naturally occurring ingredients;
• Ways to address and communicate the benefits of functional foods to consumersThe ingredients that will be covered include, but are not limited to, Probiotics, Prebiotics, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Plant Sterols & Stanols, Vitamin D, Antioxidants, Inulin, Fiber, and Calcium.
Dr Michael Coury, Vice President in Frost & Sullivan's Customer Research practice, has designed a program with two core elements. "First, we will track the consumer's purchase process for functional food ingredients, including awareness, perceptions, and sources of information," he explains. "Second, we will track the results of a conjoint trade-off analysis of consumer choices regarding nutrition, functional ingredients, and price."
The sampling and data collection operations lead by Dr. Tim Isely, Vice President of Frost & Sullivan's Global Customer Research operations, entail conducting 300-400 consumer interviews every month, contributing to a quarterly data set of 1,000 interviews, and cumulating into 4,000 respondents per year.
An open issue, that will be determined based on subscriber input, is whether the program will be conducted as a data continuous tracking study of a general population sample to capture shifts in the market on an ongoing basis over time, or as a quarterly sampling of specific demographic populations (seniors, families with children, etc.). "This program is unique in its scope and design, and hence it delivers a much-needed value that can help drive customer focused-strategies and growth for program subscribers," concludes Majumdar.
The program is planned for launch on September 1, 2009 and is open to pre-launch subscription by interested companies. For more information on subscribing to this program, please send an email to Shomik Majumdar at shomik.majumdar[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview of the proposed program will be sent to you by email. Alternatively, you can call him at +1.650.475.4539.
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best in class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best practice models to drive the generation, evaluation and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 35 offices on six continents.