Knowledge Bank Blog, Range & Portfolio, Shopper Communication

Healthy Hooks

Are your products signalling health to shoppers?

Leading a healthy lifestyle is pretty easy isn’t it?

Keep active, burn off the calories that you consume, a bit of everything (well, perhaps not everything…) in moderation.  What’s hard about that?

But a lot of people don’t find it that easy.  With a lot of things in life, the more information we have, the less clear things become.  What to eat and drink is a great example.  Fruit juice used to be good.  Until it was bad.  Bread used to be good.  Until it was bad.  Red Meat was good, then bad, then good, then bad.

You have to be seriously knowledgeable to know what to buy and eat.  And most people out there aren’t.

This is all dialled up in a shopping environment.  Shoppers are bombarded with information.  The only way they can deal with this is to rely heavily on the System 1 part of their brain to make quick, simple decisions about what to buy.   If shoppers read all the health information on packs, the weekly shop would take about 5 hours.

A lot of shoppers do want to make healthier choices.  They just need some help doing so.  Help doesn’t come in the form of lots of detailed information.  It comes in the form of simple health hooks.  They can be explicit or implicit.  Either way, they help shoppers make a quick, confident decision about what to buy.

So, what are some of these hooks and what can you do about them?

The Claim.  As a word, ‘healthy’ is very generic.  Anyone can say ‘healthy’ or ‘healthier’.  And if everyone is saying that, it becomes hard to differentiate.  Shoppers need a more specific hook to grab onto.  What is it about health that this product delivers?  It could be 1 of your 5 a day.  It could be high in protein.  It could be rich in Omega 3.  It is the simple (validated!) claim that your product can make.  Something that shoppers have heard of and understand.

The Benefit.  The claim is the reason to believe.  The benefit is the reason to buy.  Why should I be interested in a product that contains Omega 3?  We still see a lot of products that just focus on the claim.  The great new ingredient.  However, that great new ingredient is only important if you know how it benefits you.  On it’s own it is just adding to the noise on shelf.

Many of you will be familiar with our mantra of ‘telling the shopper what the product is, what the product does, why it is good’.  It is increasingly being followed in personal care communication – a world full of science and claims.  And it is as relevant for foods and drinks.

Tell the shopper what the product is.  Tell them what it does.  Tell them why it is good.  You shouldn’t need to say anything else.

The Body Language.  When do you look most healthy?  Probably after a relaxing 2 week holiday in the sun. When do you look least healthy?  Probably after a night on the town.    So, it follows that if you want to trigger health in store, you need to look healthy.  It could be the cut of the meat, the colour of the product, or the product shot on pack.  It sounds obvious, but healthy products should look healthy, wholesome and vibrant.

This is particularly important for products or categories that have challenges on health.  For instance, one of the biggest body language signals you can give is transparent packaging.  Freshly squeezed orange juice typically comes in this form.  Innocent fruit juice started out in tetra packs, then moved to transparent ones.  They have just done the same with smoothies.

Ready Meals have been doing the same.  Brands such as City Kitchen show you what is inside.  And you can see this from a distance.  This is crucial for a category that has traditionally been seen as processed.

Making healthy choices should be easy.  But it is actually pretty hard.  Arguably, getting even harder.

Products that win on health, will not only have the best benefits, but they will be the ones that communicate them in the simplest, most impactful way – explicitly or implicitly.

On a slightly less healthy note, thanks to those that took part in our ‘best crisp flavour’ poll, last week.  The flavour you have voted for, as the ‘King of Crisps’, is……(drum roll)……Sweet Chilli!!

Right, we’re off to have a kale, spinach and acai smoothie.  It better be good for us, because it tastes like…

Have a great weekend and speak to you next week.