business news in context, analysis with attitude

Daymon Worldwide is out with a "What’s Next in Wellness” retail trends study, concluding that the growing global wellness movement offers retailers the opportunity "to play a key role in helping people to eat and live better while simultaneously securing their loyalty."

"Wellness choices are individual decisions, but wellness-oriented consumers actively seek community connections to validate those choices, and to learn about what’s next and what’s new," the report says. "These thriving communities are built around shared beliefs and understanding about the social and environmental impacts of food production. They demand transparency in how food is farmed, what is or isn’t in the ingredient deck, plus where it comes from, how it’s transported and how it’s prepared. They also care about the health and welfare of those who grow this food.

"In short, wellness choices are individual actions applied to change the world, and to feed a growing population while sustaining the planet. The movement permeates all age groups, especially younger consumers, and is seen in fitness communities, local food networks and organizations dedicated to ethical and environmentally sustainable food production. Takeaway: Retailers need to actively seek engagement and partnership with these communities."

Some other excerpts from the report:

• "Organic is now mainstream, and is the fastest-growing segment of the global food industry. Almost all categories of conventional food are becoming available in organic versions as three out of four Americans are purchasers of organic products. Retailers that are just now starting to think about their private brand organic offerings have already missed the first wave of organic growth. Those that were ahead of the trend are now expanding and extending their organic lines. The next phase of organic growth is in convenient and portable formats in fresh, foodservice, ‘grab and go’, and snack categories."

• "Today, consumers crave the positive. The new emphasis is on naturally nutritious superfoods, seafood, sprouted grains and probiotic foods. Packaging highlights the positives, loudly and clearly. Retail messaging places greater emphasis on the end-benefits, like stress-busting, deep rest and even happiness itself. A more expansive approach even includes the social and global benefits from cleaner ingredient lists, such as reduced impact on the environment; ethically-sourced foods; or humanely-treated animals."

• "A cleaner label often results in blander food, but recent experience shows this tradeoff is not inevitable. Ingenious culinary techniques are coming to the rescue to mitigate taste losses from the elimination or reduction of sugar, salt and trans-fats ... Culinary innovations are raising consumer expectations for the tastiness and pleasure of natural and organic foods. Takeaway: Retailers can bring these experiences to life for their customers, to delight and differentiate."
KC's View: