For most consumers food can optionally be healthy, but it has to be tasty. And many consumers associate “healthy” with medicine or other things that won’t taste good. So maybe you don’t promote the health claims, even when your food is.

This is a challenge for pizza, soup and other manufacturers trying to reduce the amount of sodium in their food. The new food is healthier, but that’s not why their customers are buying it. Companies found that promoting low sodium soup was not in general a winning strategy with their customers.

I used to do work with Ocean Spray. While cranberry juice has a reputation, especially among the elderly, of helping with bladder issues, Ocean Spray would absolutely never talk about that. They didn’t want their juice in any way thought of as medicine.

On the other hand, organics is the fastest growing food category, increasing 11% last year compared to general food industry growth of three percent. There are definitely moms out there that want chemical free food for their kids, and adults who want it for themselves.

It really is a matter of knowing your customer and understanding your market segment. Why are your customers buying your product? What are their emotional triggers?

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