Natural Foods Merchandiser

Where Supplements Shoppers Are Going

Knowledge is power in the battle to get customers into your store to purchase their herbs and supplements. Without that power, they will go elsewhere.

Consider that while 50.7 percent of shoppers are spending some of their monthly $66 supplements outlay in supernaturals, they are Also shopping in an average of almost three additional stores. In fact, mass merchandisers such as Target and pharmacy/drug stores such as CVS are beating out vitamin, mineral and supplements stores, as well as natural foods stores. The good news is that consumers are most likely to make supernaturals their primary health supplement source, followed by mass merchandisers and vitamin, mineral and supplements stores, edging out the pharmacy/drug stores. Food purchases do drive supplement purchases for all but conventional supermarkets. Vitamin, mineral and supplements stores? customers top the list with 67.6 percent of food shoppers staying to walk the supplements aisles. Mass merchandisers are a close second, with 66.9 percent of customers shopping for food, but staying to buy supps. Natural foods stores rate 40.1 percent staying to buy supps, ranking second to last.

Looking at alignment among consumer segments, natural foods stores appeal most to convenience cravers for their supplements purchases. Vitamin, mineral and supplements stores appeal to convenience cravers and primarily pricers nearly equally. Product passionates like buying clubs, but will pick a supernatural second.

Supps shoppers also want certain levels of service. Laurie Scriven of Beaverton, Ore., wants to know that the products she gets attached to will continue to be carried in New Seasons, her primary store, because she likes some specialty items. She also says that she?s not so much interested in the brand, but that New Season carries them at all. Jill Emanoil of Indianapolis supports her local Wild Oats because of another top service component, staff knowledgeability. ?Their staff is well-educated so they can answer questions about enhancers or herbal supplements,? she said.

And despite recent media bashing, 57 percent of respondents either ?completely? or ?somewhat? agreed that ?herbal products are generally safe and rarely cause negative side effects.?

Do Food Purchases Drive Supplement Purchases?

Do consumers tend to pick up supplements in the stores where they do most of their food shopping? The answer is a resounding ?yes? for supplements stores, mass merchandisers, pharmacies and club stores.

Designated Primary Source for Supplements

Preferred Source for Natural Food

Club Store

Mass Merchandiser

Super Natural

Conventional Supermarket

Pharmacy/Drug

Supplements Store

Natural Foods Store

Club Store

47.8%

13.0%

4.3%

8.7%

8.7%

13.0%

0%

Mass Merchandiser

2.5%

66.9%

1.7%

2.5%

11.9%

5.1%

0.8%

Natural Products Supermarket

2.6%

6.5%

45.2%

2.2%

7.7%

12.8%

4.5%

Conventional Supermarket

5.4%

20.6%

4.3%

17.7%

20.2%

15.9%

5.1%

Pharmacy/Drug

5.3%

10.5%

0%

5.3%

57.9%

10.5%

10.5%

Supplements Store

5.9%

14.7%

0%

0%

5.9%

67.6%

5.9%

Natural Foods Store

1.4%

9.9%

9.9%

2.8%

6.3%

13.4%

40.1%

Source: NFM/IA


Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 8/p. 13

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