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Consumers become more ‘calorie conscious,’ survey shows

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Health and weight management are on the minds and plates of consumers nationwide, with 43% of surveyed consumers paying more attention to calorie counts than they were two years ago.

In the new Shopping for Health survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Food Marketing Institute and Prevention, a Rodale Inc. magazine, more than 1,423 adult shoppers polled said sodium levels are the new top nutrition label concern (66%), tied with fat (66%) and followed closely by sugar/artificial sweeteners (65%) and calories (60%). Compared with last year, more than one-third of shoppers say they’re buying products with more grains (whole grain, 49%; multigrain, 40%), fiber (39%), low-fat (37%) and low-sodium (34%).

“This research is extremely valuable as supermarkets promote the health and wellness of their customers as a central part of their mission. Most important, it tells us what consumers need to learn about eating healthy foods and how we can best help them as company dietitians teach customers how to improve their diets through store tours, cooking classes and other educational programs,” said Leslie Sarasin, FMI president and CEO.

But while 25% of shoppers said it’s acceptable for the taxation of unhealthy foods, one-third of shoppers are attracted to utilizing grocery list apps and 24% are spending more time in the grocery store than before the economic crash, precision is not necessarily on the minds of consumers, the survey noted:

  • 9% actively count how many calories they consume
  • 50% say they just watch their calories
  • 41% don’t watch at all

“America’s calorie conundrum: more attention does not mean more precision,” said Cary Silvers, Prevention’s director of consumer insights. “While many American’s are paying more attention to calories, they have a long way to go towards knowing how many they consume in an average day. This is the next line of opportunity in calorie management.”

Click here to view or purchase the full report.

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Bubble Chocolate arrives at Duane Reade

BY Allison Cerra

SALEM, Mass. One of the latest chocolate innovations now is available at 250 Duane Reade locations.

Aerated chocolate brand Bubble Chocolate announced that Duane Reade is selling both dark and milk chocolate bars in more than 250 locations.

“In nine months Bubble Chocolate has gained incredible distribution throughout North America, and getting our bars into Duane Reade confirms that Americans are ready for aerated chocolate,” said Paul Pruett, CEO of Bubble Chocolate. “The positive feedback from buyers and consumers is so exciting and we expect that this brand will continue to grow exponentially.”

The suggested retail price for a Bubble Chocolate bar is $2.49.

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Mars debuts M&M’s pretzel chocolate candies

BY Allison Cerra

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. Beloved candy brand M&M’s debuted its newest addition that has the perfect blend of sweet and salty flavors.

New M&M pretzel chocolate candies will be hitting store shelves this month and will be available for 79 cents for a single-size bag, $3.49 for medium-size bags, $4.99 for large-size bags and $8.99 for a 30-oz. stand-up pouch. Consumers were given a taste of the newest M&M creation in April through the brand’s Facebook fan page, Mars said. 

“Our fans have been clamoring for a salty and sweet M&M’s snack,” said Leah Dunmore, senior marketing director for M&M’s at Mars Chocolate North America. “Since we aim to please taste buds whenever possible, we put a pretzel inside an M&M’s for the first time ever. We’re certain M&M’s pretzel will add color and fun to any party this year.”

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