Food Trends: Chilled/Fresh Products Credited with Reducing Sick Days

March 9, 2010

As bitter winter weather batters the country and H1N1 looms with the threat of recurring with little warning, consumers look to their refrigerators for the foods and beverages they believe possess the power to reduce sick days at work and school, according to a TNS Landis US Consumption Universe study published on Foodtrends.com.

Top Products in Produce Aisle and Chilled Case
Not surprisingly, consumers most credit fresh forms of vitamin-rich products such as juices, fruits, and vegetables with the ability to deliver this benefit to their daily lives, with 70% of consumers agreeing fresh squeezed orange juice is the gold standard.

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Of the traditional food and beverage branded items evaluated, juices represent the greatest number of top brands, led by Minute Maid’s Simply Orange, followed closely by other chilled and shelf stable juice varieties such as Pom Wonderful, V-8, and Tropicana. The immunity-enhancing characteristics of probiotics also push yogurts, such as Activia and DanActive, onto this list. Only one bottled water – Vitamin Water – is considered capable of boosting daily immunity.

Emergen-C and Airborne Poised to Stretch Their Product Footprints
However, within the context of brand evaluations the top two brands by a wide margin: AirBorne and Emergen-C, are not juice, fruit nor vegetable, nor are they fresh or refrigerated.

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“Food and beverage marketers eager to help consumers build daily resistance and immunity should set their sights on top-ranking AirBorne and Emergen-C as either potential partners or likely competitors,” said Paulette Kish, EVP of innovation for TNS Landis. “While these brands began life as dietary supplements, it is within reason to imagine extensions from these brands making a direct assault on the juice and water aisles; perhaps a strategy already hinted at with the entry of Emergen-C into shots.”

US Eating Habits Get Healthier
In addition to seeking foods that reduce sick days, the US is making general progress in following healthy eating habits, according to the new Nielsen Healthy Eating Index.

The Nielsen Healthy Eating Index scored 402 in 2009, a 33.4% increase from 389 in 2008. The chart below shows the seasonal nature of healthy eating habits across the US. Every year, consumers make unhealthy food choices over the holidays. Then in January, diets get back on track and healthy eating is a priority again.

About the Survey: The analysis is based on the TNS Landis US Consumption Universe, and covers 290 brands and 369 product categories across the entire food, snack, and beverage landscape. A score of 50 or greater indicates a brand is considered to possess an attribute by at least half of brand-aware consumers. The TNS Landis Consumption Universe study is a consumer-based survey that connects consumer targets, occasions, needs, and brands to identify innovation and marketing opportunities.

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