NEW YORK — Pricing and labeling are top of mind for shoppers when it comes to health-boosting food and beverage products, according to a new survey from Attest.
The consumer research platform surveyed 2,000 US consumers and found 60% actively are seeking food and beverage products to support their overall health. Pricing was the top concern, with 52% of respondents worried that food and beverage products containing health-boosting ingredients are overpriced.
The survey found widespread confusion when it comes to determining what is and isn’t healthy. As part of its research, Attest showed participants six varieties of cereal bars and asked them to identify which was the healthiest choice. Comparing the responses to the Nutri-Score system, which converts the nutritional value of products into a simple ranking system, just 9% of respondents correctly identified the healthiest choice. Thirteen percent selected the lowest-ranking option. Health-related messaging was a key source of confusion, with phrases like “whole grains,” “naturally flavored” and “100 calories” swaying wrong choices.
Around half (46%) of shoppers said they worry that wellness products aren’t actually healthy when shopping for them. Four-in-ten (41%) said they’re concerned that the health benefits of ingredients haven’t been scientifically proven, and 32% worry that the amount of active ingredients included isn’t enough to make a difference.
“The research is a call to action for the food and beverage industry to simplify how it sells its products,” said Jeremy King, founder and chief executive officer of Attest. “This data shows that identifying real, healthy products appears to be a serious difficulty for American shoppers, as packaging messages simply aren’t accessible enough for consumers. With six-in-ten consumers actively looking to buy healthy food and beverage products, addressing this issue will be of significant benefit to the industry.”
The survey asked shoppers about potential solutions for overcoming common misgivings. Respondents cited packaging as the top area brands should focus on if they want to increase purchase intent. Putting clear nutrition labeling on pack was the No. 1 thing consumers said brands should do to increase trust in their products.
Coupons are a valuable tool for persuading shoppers to try a wellness product for the first time. Twenty percent of shoppers said being able to try a product at a discounted price would increase their trust. More than a third (34%) of respondents said they would be convinced by an endorsement from a health professional or health organization, and 24% said seeing a certification logo on package would significantly boost their trust.