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Capitalizing on Consumer Trends. Understanding Superfood Trends and Making Them Work for Your Brand. Peter Wennström. President of HealthFocus Europe Founding Director of The Healthy Marketing Team Co-Author of The Food & Health Marketing Handbook. Who are we?. HealthFocus International

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Capitalizing on Consumer Trends

Understanding Superfood Trends and Making Them Work for Your Brand

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Peter Wennström

President of HealthFocus Europe

Founding Director of The Healthy Marketing Team

Co-Author of The Food & Health Marketing Handbook

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Who are we?

  • HealthFocus International

    • Based in Florida

    • HealthFocus US Trend Survey since 1990

    • HealthFocus International Trend Survey since 2000

  • HealthFocus Europe

    • Based in Sweden

    • Implementation support to European clients

    • Latest HealthFocus UK Trend Report 2006. Next 2008.

  • The Healthy Marketing Team

    • Based in London (Amsterdam and Singapore)

    • Mission: better targeted products, faster to market

    • Joint venture with Designbridge

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A One Stop Shop from Consumer Data to Brand Success

real shopper preferences & attitudes

research-ready brands & execution

Recommendations, brand platforms, creative briefs

trends and insights

Strategic direction, brand acceleration, concept development

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Today: How to understand the superfood trend

  • HealthFocus Consumer trends…

    • Health as a driver of choice

    • Processed vs natural

  • Functional foods vs Superfoods as strategies

    • Science push vs Consumer pull

    • The brand challenge of superfoods

  • Plus: Superfruits special analysis

    • Five key criteria for superfruit success from

    • “How to create and market superfruit” by Julian Mellentin and Karl Crawford. Soon to be published by New Nutrition Business

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Superfoods?Sounds great!Where can I get one?

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Understand the Market?

  • Euromonitor:

  • Part of “Inherently good foods” category

    • Soy milk, sour milk drinks, olive oil, wholegrain bakery, high fibre/oat-based cereals etc

    • 25% of total H&W market

    • Strongest growth in soy products, high fibre, wholegrain, olive oil and fruit snacks

    • Western Europe

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Fit with consumer trends:Health as a driver of choice

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“I want to buy health”

Fresh and natural are the strongest drivers

HealthFocus: Dietary To-Dos 2006/7

Increased use over the past two years – Top 5:

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“I want to buy health”

Fresh and natural are the strongest drivers

“I want to buy health”

HealthFocus: Dietary Do-Nots 2006/7

Decreased use over the past two years – Top 5:

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Science push puts Functional before Food. This strategy puts the product in a medical context. The ambition is to leverage proprietary assets in technology with scientifically proven benefits


Functional Foods Strategy

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Consumer pull is the strategy that is leveraging consumers beliefs in functionality in foods and combined with other consumer benefits like convenience, taste and lifestyle.

Superfoods Strategy

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What’s happening to fresh fruit?

Source: USDA ERS Per capita availability

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Superfruits are supported by science


Mellentin J & Crawford K,

How to create and market

superfruit, (In Press)

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Source: Mintel IRIS

Personal care products containing pomegranate or açaí, by region, 2001-June 2007

Pomegranate/açaí grows in personal care products

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Superfruit criteria 2: Convenience is key

“Fresh products are not in the formats that meet people’s lifestyle needs. As a result the value that the fresh fruit industry should be capturing is being stolen by consumer goods companies. What form do you think people under 35 will eat fruit and vegetables? More than half – maybe much more – will be in processed formats.”

“Berries are the exception to this rule – in some markets, fresh berries are showing 20% to 30% per annum growth in sales – the reason is that in addition to their strong health image berries are convenient. These small fruit need no peeling and are easy to eat from the hand.”

Fruit marketing guru Professor David Hughes, Imperial College, London

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Superfruit criteria 2: Convenience is key

Tesco pricing - £26 per kilo – a 1,500% premium to apples.

Blueberries’ massive convenience advantage over apples and their more consumer-friendly packaging (small 150g packs) coupled with high antioxidanthealth benefits widely communicated by the media enables them to achieve super-premiumprices

Tesco pricing - £1.59 per kilo

Source: Supermarket surveys in UK and US

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Superfruits plus convenience

Innocent Drinks, has seen retail sales of its smoothies grow from zero to over £120m in retail sales in the period 1998-2007.


Mellentin J & Crawford K,

How to create and market

superfruit, (In Press)

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Superfruits drives juice prices


Mellentin J & Crawford K,

How to create and market

superfruit, (In Press)

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Superfruit : Marketing strategy

Fruit + convenience + strong brand differentiation + lifestyle benefits + health benefit = premium pricing




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  • The ”new”, fast-growing superfruits are all in the lifestyle area. Even established niche fruits are building a health and nutrition platform in this area.

  • They are niche products that sell in low volumes but command premium prices.

  • Lifestyle consumers willingly embrace health messages about these new fruits.




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Superfood criteria #1: health benefits beyond “regular food”

  • Discovering, validating and promoting specific health benefits that are intrinsic to a food is the biggest strategy in food and health today – examples include oats, olive oil, oily fish and many others.

  • This marketing of intrinsic health is also the basis for the superfruits.

  • Superfruits primary benefit platform has (so far) been based on high antioxidant content.

  • Antioxidants have a strong, all-natural “wellness” image in consumers’ minds thanks to media coverage of their benefits in relation to green tea, dark chocolate, red wine and many other “natural foods”.

  • Pomegranate juices have made a specific link to heart health – more fruits will make more links to specific benefits in order to find new points of difference in a crowded market.

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Strategy Case Study: juice and heart health food”

Juices that communicate their natural and intrinsic heart healthfulness – based on their very high natural content of antioxidants – are accepted by consumers

Juices that communicate heart healthfulness based on an added science-based ingredient can be said to have largely failed.

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Strategy Case Study: juice and heart health food”

  • Paramount Farms, America’s largest pomegranate grower, pioneered the development of the pomegranate market in the US.

  • Its sales of pomegranate juice exceed $95 million (£48 million) a year, but sales of whole pomegranates are just $20 million (£10 million).

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Pom Wonderful sales > food”$95m per annum.

Despite selling at a 400% price premium

to rival brands.

Minute Maid HeartWise achieved sales of $35m before falling to $20m.

US: Pom Wonderful, marketed by a family-owned fruit-growing company, outsells Coca-Cola’s sterol-based cholesterol-lowering juice.

Superfruit’s promise of a natural and intrinsic health benefit will always beat added science.

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Pomegreat sales > foodӣ30m per annum.

Now the UK’s biggest heart health

juice brand?

Tropicana Benecol and Sirco both sold £1m at retail and have both been withdrawn.

UK: Pomegreat, marketed by a small entrepreneurial company, has outsold Tropicana’s sterol-based cholesterol-lowering juice and Sirco juice (both based on patented added ingredients).

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Superfruits – the functional foods of the future? food”

  • The growing success of superfruits is the result of combining science with consumer pull.

  • Science is important to demonstrate effective health benefits…

  • …but success is the result of focusing on convenience (especially beverages), lifestyle brand positioning and communicating

  • natural and intrinsic healthfulness.

  • Superfruits are not a fad, they are a sea-change and the juice category will see the emergence of many more high-value, low-volume superfruit niche brands as worldwide research into over 20 potential superfruits is commercialised.

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Consequence for brand owners? food”

The long term difference is in the brand

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Superfruit section was based on primary research from: food”

The longest-established journal on the global food and nutrition


The world’s largest integrated fruit research company

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Want to know more? food”

  • 1. HFI 2008 International Trend Survey incl. UK and 18 other marekets

  • Going into field in January.


  • 2. The Food & Health Marketing Handbook


  • 3. New Nutrition Business

  • 4. “How to Create and Market Superfruits”

  • by Mellentin & Crawford