More than ever, consumers want to take control of their own health, and are increasingly prepared to do so. Research supported this even before the pandemic hit. While 47% of shoppers in one survey said they react to health problems when they arise, a similar figure, 42%, said they proactively seek out products to improve their health. A growing number of consumers are looking to food for health benefits. 55% percent believe food or drink can provide the same health benefits as non-prescription medicines.
Specifically, a growing number of consumers are interested in improving digestive health.
When asked why, 30% of respondents of another survey said they wanted to improve their bodies’ natural defenses, reflecting high awareness of the importance of the gut to immunity—and this was pre-COVID-19.
As consumers seek products to boost their digestive or overall health, they’re
increasingly looking to buy from brands that demonstrate commitments to sustainability, traceability and transparency. In fact, clean eating is now the most widely followed diet in the U.S., according to the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2019 Food and Health Survey. Transparency is one of the top purchase drivers of healthy lifestyle products. In a survey done by the taste and nutrition company Kerry, consumers were asked what would encourage them to purchase healthy lifestyle products.
• “I recognize active ingredients.”
• “I did my own research on ingredient / product benefits.”
• “I saw research or data claims for the product.”
Omnichannel marketing synchronizes messaging across all channels—from emails to store aisles—to create a unified, seamless brand experience focused on the customer. It’s a more fluid consumer experience that bridges online and brick and mortar shopping.
“In today’s omnichannel world, one of the biggest opportunities is the ability to communicate the content we have. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever been able to squeeze onto a package or label,” says Betsy McGinn, CEO of McGinn eComm, a strategy firm that guides brands through online-retail channels. “The ability to tell our story is one of the most important foundations for our business. Now, we have all these tools to do it. If we’re not doing it, we’re missing a great opportunity,” says McGinn.
Explore all channels as potential routes for telling consumers about your
brand or store’s values, says food industry consultant Allison Ball. For example, retailers can share their store’s values around transparency and sustainability through physical as well as online messaging. “They can print
it on shopping bags, on shelf talkers and on the little line on the bottom of
the receipt,” she says.
Websites and social media offer virtual space to highlight responsible sourcing, testing and other supply chain issues consumers are increasingly interested in. Consumers can control the amount of content they’d like to dig into as they follow the product from field or factory to their hands.
Lots of natural brands shine when it comes to omnichannel strategy.
, Kerry’s branded, science-backed probiotic ingredient, for example, is paving the way in transparency. In a competitive digestive health space, in which consumers are often skeptical about the claims made for functional products, a sustainable strategy is to use high-quality ingredients supported by scientific substantiation. is supported by a wealth of scientific evidence, with more than 25 published papers demonstrating its benefits to help support digestive health, immune
health and protein utilization. Brands that use science-backed, branded ingredients convey to consumers that their products are traceable, transparent and efficacious.
COVID-19 has given a previously unimaginable spike to the number of people shopping online. “While we don’t yet have any stats on this, I’m 100% convinced a lot of the movement online is people who haven’t been traditionally online shoppers,” says McGinn, co-author of The Amazon Roadmap: How Innovative Brands are Reinventing the Path to Market (Authority, 2019). “And, once they’ve experienced the convenience and selection of doing so, many will continue shopping online. While numbers might not continue at this peak, it definitely sets a new normal.”
“If there is a silver lining to the situation, it’s that it’s pushing us to keep our minds open to using technology in an industry that historically hasn’t,” says Ball, noting how not just marketing messaging, but everything from product pitches to wholesale accounts to elements of supply chain management are being conducted virtually. And, as the technology continues to evolve, it provides more tools and opportunities for brands to connect and serve consumers.
(Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086®) is a natural, science backed probiotic ingredient used by product manufacturers to create functional food, beverage, and companion animal products.
remains viable throughout most manufacturing processes and the low pH of the stomach. Backed by over 25 published papers, research shows
can help support digestive health, immune health, and may support protein utilization. is a patented ingredient, generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). is natural, vegan, and allergen-free. As part of Kerry’s ProActive Health portfolio, is Non-GMO Project Verified, organic compliant, Kosher and Halal certified. For more information, please visit BC30probiotic.com.
“The ability to tell our story is one of the most important foundations for our business. Now, we have all these tools to do it. If we’re not doing it, we’re missing a great opportunity.”
– Betsy McGinn, CEO, McGinn eComm
While COVID-19 hurls commerce around a rollercoaster of change, one thing remains the same for brands and retailers alike: The focus should be on the customer. How? First, figure out what they want. Next, take an omnichannel approach to connecting with them, meeting them where they are to give them knowledge, inspiration and products.
Globally, more than half (56%) say they want to learn more about how they can do so.
Connecting across channels
1. GlobalData—TrendSights Overview: Health & Wellness, August 2018
2. GlobalData—Ingredient Insights: Digestive Health, August 2018
3. FMCG Gurus—Insights and Opportunities: Global digestive health, 2019
4. FMCG Gurus—Insights and Opportunities: Global digestive health, 2019
5. Kerry Global Consumer Survey—Digestive & Immune Health, 2019
react to health
proactively seek out products
to improve their health
look to food for
Brands that use science-backed, branded ingredients convey to consumers that their products are traceable, transparent and efficacious.
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