>>unpredictable consumer behaviour belies Healthy intentions

Better for you and health-related issues had become the dominant theme in customers’ evaluations of new products by the end of 2005. And they had plenty to assess, with a continuous flow of new products all claiming some recipe change that offered a healthier alternative.
Respondents will admit to adhering to healthy eating, but winners and losers in the better for you stakes have become more difficult to assess.
There is no doubt consumers are more receptive to the idea of healthier foods and drinks, but claims of purchase intention are often undermined by low frequency of buying, suggesting that many will not become core repertoire purchases.
Those that achieve the highest ratings are invariably good products, offering good flavour and a valued health benefit. If the price is good, even better. Yet so often the pack communications emphasise health at the expense of enjoyment values or, as in the case of many vegetarian foods, use language and visuals that say to many ‘not for me’.
Vegetarian foods invariably position themselves as niche products, failing to exploit the change in sentiment towards alternative protein sources.
Produced for The Grocer by Cambridge Fast Foodfax, an independent standardised new product testing service where a sample of 50 consumers rate new products across 10 key performance measures. Maximum score 50. Details on www.fast-foodfax.com.