Commentary

Nudging Consumers To Eat Healthier

It’s not news that there’s a health crisis in America. According to the Food Research Action Center, 67% of U.S. adults are overweight, and millions of Americans have diabetes. What is new: Consumers are focusing on their personal wellness—and CPGs are in prime position to help them eat healthier, one step at a time.

Brands are responding by providing healthier products. Research has shown that fad diets, especially those that call for eliminating entire food groups, are just a short-term solution. What works best for people: Tweaking their diets to include less salt, fat, and sugar and more nutritious ingredients. To encourage the purchase of healthier foods, CPGs should focus on “nudging” consumers toward better options of their favorite foods. Products such as whole-wheat pasta, olive oil-based mayonnaise, and low-fat ice creams are smart additions to the grocery shelf. Then keep these three steps in mind:

Get consumers in the door.

Shoppers are looking for healthier products—but they’re still cost-conscious. In fact, cost is a leading barrier for consumers who want to make healthy changes in their purchasing habits. For CPGs, it’s key to encourage trial that will ultimately lead to long-term adoption of healthier products. A simple way to do this is by offering coupons for these products, which lowers the cost burden for the consumer.

Inspire and educate consumers.

Lifestyle changes, like healthier eating, don’t happen overnight. It requires not just healthier products, but the know-how to make positive dietary changes. CPGs with healthier products should also provide consumers with educational content that helps them understand how healthier eating is an obtainable goal. At the same time, targeted materials that explain the health benefits of such products can drive brand awareness and sales.

Build relationships with consumers.

Once you’ve attracted consumers with coupons and inspired them with educational content, don’t stop there. Just like lifestyle change, brand loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. It requires consistent effort over time. For long-term success, CPGs should continue to offer savings on and communications around healthier products. Frequency of both will help grow trial, repeat usage, and consumer trust. 

Even with such products, every CPG’s goal is the same: to be the one item that consumers reach for on the crowded supermarket shelf. By following these three steps, CPGs can nudge consumers toward healthier products and nurture brand loyalty.

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