HEALTH

IRI releases first NutriLink segmentation study

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — To help CPG manufacturers and retailers identify and leverage the varying shopper beliefs about health and nutrition, IRI has released the first NutriLink segmentation study, which classifies U.S. consumers into six groups based on their behavior and attitudes toward health, diet and nutrition, as well as their demographics, the firm announced Tuesday. 

“Attitudes vary drastically across the NutriLink segmentation, so a clear understanding of each group’s specific wants and needs is essential for effective targeting and enticing shoppers,”Robert Tomei, president, consumer and shopper marketing, IRI said. “These insights can also unlock new opportunities to drive sales volume, increase consumer loyalty and develop successful new products.”

While only three of the six NutriLink segments are actively pursuing healthier lifestyles, all six represent notable growth opportunities for CPG marketers and retailers:

  • Fast & Frugal – Taste and price are key concerns for these shoppers, who have a median income of $36,000, a median age of 46 and make up 26% of shoppers. As a result of their on-the-go lifestyles, they rarely exercise and prefer foods that are quick and easy to prepare or are ready to eat;
  • Sensible Super Moms – To ensure that they and their families look and feel good, these savvy moms prioritize eating right and exercising. They prefer fresh food and actively seek information on nutrition/healthy eating but also believe indulgent snacks can be part of a healthy diet. With a median income of $46,000 and a median age of 42, Sensible Super Moms account for 20% of the population;
  • Wise and Healthy – With a median age of 68 and median income of $49,000, these shoppers are not as adversely affected by changes in the economy and can afford to buy healthy, nutritious groceries. They make an effort to exercise daily and believe in eating healthy food at least 80% of the time in order to stay healthy and disease-free. As many as 16% of shoppers fall into the Wise and Healthy segment;
  • Healthy Chic – These shoppers are actively trying to improve eating habits and tend to follow strict diets or eat healthy at least 80% of the time to stay healthy and maintain or lose weight. This group enjoys a median income of $76,000, has a median age of 44 and accounts for 16% of the population;
  • Convenient and Content – This group does not put a premium on diet or exercise. Their food choices tend to revolve around taste convenience rather than health. With an average age of 54 and a median income of $65,000, they are not particularly affected by changes in the economy. Convenient and Content represent 14% of the population.; and
  • Carefree Coasters – These shoppers generally eat on the run and are largely indifferent to taste, freshness, healthiness and price. With a median age of 50 and a median income of $38,000, they spend very little time thinking about what they eat and are not concerned about calories or other nutritional aspects of food. Carefree Coasters account for 9% of the population.

Though very different, each NutriLink segment is targetable, and each offers unique opportunities for CPG manufacturers and retailers. For example, Fast and Frugal shoppers will be drawn to inexpensive, prepared single-serve meals, while Healthy Chic and Wise and Healthy shoppers will be eager to try new healthy and organic products.

IRI completed the NutriLink segmentation in October 2013, based on a survey of demographically balanced respondents from the National Consumer Panel.

 

 

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CDC: Flu vaccination prevented an estimated 6.6 million influenza-associated illnesses last season

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — Flu vaccination prevented an estimated 6.6 million influenza-associated illnesses, 3.2 million medically attended illnesses, and 79,000 hospitalizations during the 2012-2013 flu season, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published Thursday. CDC also reported today that despite the benefits of flu vaccination, only 40% of Americans 6 months and older had reported getting a flu vaccine this season as of early November 2013.

CDC also posted reports on its web site on estimated flu vaccination uptake so far this season. National early-season vaccination coverage estimates are that 40% of Americans 6 months and older had received a flu vaccination by early November 2013 (39% of adults and 41% of children). This is similar to flu vaccination coverage last season at the same time.

The estimated benefits of vaccination for the 2012-2013 season are higher than any other season for which CDC has produced similar estimates. These high numbers are attributable to the severity of the season. The report estimates that last season there were a total of 31.8 million influenza-associated illnesses, 14.4 medically attended illnesses, and 381,000 hospitalizations in the United States. 

“The estimated number of hospitalizations reinforces what we have always known about flu: that it is highly variable and can be very serious,” stated CDC director Tom Frieden.

Children aged 6 months through four years and persons aged 65 and older, who are among those most vulnerable to influenza, accounted for an estimated 69% of prevented hospitalizations.

“We could prevent even more illness by increasing use of flu vaccines among people of all ages," Frieden said. The MMWR report estimates if 70% of the population had been vaccinated last season, another 4.4 million flu illnesses, 1.8 million medically attended illnesses, and 30,000 flu hospitalizations could have been prevented. 

CDC often cites flu as being responsible for 200,000 hospitalizations each season. This average is taken from data during the 1990s, when annual estimates ranges from 158,000 hospitalizations in 1990-1991 to a high of 431,000 hospitalizations in 1997-1998.

Seasonal influenza activity is increasing in parts of the United States. Further increases in influenza activity across the U.S. are expected in the coming weeks.  

CDC released today’s reports in concert with National Influenza Vaccination Week, a national observance taking place from December 8-14, 2013. Past flu vaccination coverage estimates have shown flu vaccination activity drops quickly after the end of November. NIVW was established by CDC and its partners in 2005 to underscore the importance of continuing flu vaccination throughout the flu season. Peak weeks of influenza activity have occurred in January through March in more than 90% of seasons during the past 20 years, and significant circulation can occur as late as May.

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Report: Global sales of probiotics to reach $23.9 billion by 2017

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS — MarketsandMarkets on Friday projected the global probiotics market would reach $23.9 billion by 2017. 

"[The] probiotics market has been one of the prime beneficiaries of the recent fad over functional foods," MarketsandMarkets reported. "Rising levels of health consciousness and aging baby boomer population are a few of the drivers helping in the growth of the market. 

Probiotic dairy products are expected to command the highest market share among all the probiotic foodstuffs accounting for almost 80% in the year 2011. The biggest markets for these products are Europe and Asia-Pacific. The North American market has gradually opened up to these products in the recent past and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.0% from 2012 to 2017, the biggest contributor being supplements and specialty nutrients. 

Though the market base of probiotic products is comparatively lesser in the U.S. in comparison to countries across the globe, the market is expected to grow at a promising rate of almost 6.8% in the same period driven by the large scale acceptance of the probiotic yogurts in spoonable single serve packs and probiotic cultured drinks in single shot packaging form and probiotic dietary supplements.

Products that fall under the niche category presently, such as probiotic chocolates, probiotic ice creams and probiotic baked products are expected to enjoy a larger market share. Consumers’ willingness to pay the premium price for fortified products with proven benefits is a key driver for these segments. However, probiotic cheese, probiotic butter, etc. are fated to the status of ultra-niche products due to their conventional image as unhealthy dietary products.

 

 

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