As newhope360 recently reported, while sales of omega-3 products are growing, the number of consumers purchasing is not. Here's who you should attract, but exactly how do you get them to buy?
In a recent survey, we asked Delicious Living readers what would prompt them to begin taking omega-3s. Although 63 percent said more information, here are some other suggestions that may help attract new omega-3 customers.
1. Offer a sample.
Forty-four percent of Delicious Living readers who are not currently taking omega-3s said a sample would help them make a purchase. Although one sample won't necessarily prove the product's efficacy, it will help consumers resolve concerns about a fishy taste. Consumers can also test out the delivery system, which is helpful if they are concerned about being able to swallow a supplement.
2. Offer a coupon or discount.
Thirty percent of survey participants said a coupon would garner their interest. If customers are buying an expensive, high-end omega-3 product, then a discount or coupon definitely will pique their interest. A coupon will also get them to try something they wouldn’t otherwise try, such as a brand that's unfamiliar to them.
3. Simplify the product's label.
Just more than 18 percent of survey participants said they look for clean, simplified labels and those that directly link to a health benefit. Of course, messaging around omega-3s is hindered by DHSEA and limited to structure/function claims.
4. Explain the benefits clearly on the label.
On this note Adam Ismail, executive director of the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED)says a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) would help. In the absence of an RDI, Ismail suggested explaining the benefits more clearly. “Some people think they are taking 1,000 or 1,200 mg of omega-3s, when omega-3s are only a portion of the fish oil they’re taking. We can’t tell them what the daily requirement is, but I think there are creative ways to tell the consumer what they’re getting.”
5. Consider rebranding.
Cleaner labels make supplement aisles more accessible, as one focus group participant said: “You go to a store like Sunflower [Farmer’s Market] and you look at their vitamins and there are like 200 of them. You just stare and go, ‘How can I possibly choose?’ or ‘Do I have to take all of these?’ And so you don’t do anything. You turn around and you go get your peaches and your yogurt-covered pretzels and you walk out.”
Supplement labels do tend to blur together. Rebranding efforts, such as this year's Natural Vitality redo, should be noted. The brand's bright, fun colors stand out to young consumers and the labels are engaging and inviting.
6. Add a personal touch.
Customers are more likely to buy a product if someone puts it in their hands. One focus group participant from Colorado noted that they specifically shop for supplements at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage because of the great customer service: “The staff there is super knowledgeable and I just can be standing there and they will come up and say, ‘Can I help you?’ Wow. Now you don’t find that anywhere else.”
Although it may be costly, hands-on customer service may be your best bet for attracting new consumers. You are more likely to end up with a satisfied customer who feels confident with his or her purchase.
7. Know your moms.
Although doctors have traditionally been the mouthpiece for omega-3s because of the focus on brain and heart health, the need for reassurance and the human touch is why Ismail anticipates that mothers will play a big role in the quest for new customers. Not only will moms and their children be new customers, moms will also help drive sales through word of mouth.
8. Go beyond heart and brain health.
The conversation around omega-3s needs to go beyond just heart and brain health. This rang true in the Delicious Living survey where consumers said that in addition to brain and heart health, they look to omega-3s for overall general health, as well as hair, skin and nail health, joint health and anti-aging. And research even inks omega-3s to a reduction of symptoms of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. If this research makes it into the mainstream we will start to see growth in omega-3s in new categories.
9. Leech off pharma's coattails.
Omega-3s' link to heart and brain health has brought pharmaceutical companies to the market. Ismail said that the continued interest of pharmaceutical companies in omega-3s will have a huge, positive effect on the industry. Why? Because pharmaceutical companies spend a lot on marketing and supplements can't target disease populations. “So, I think from a consumer perspective, it will help," he said. "If these products get really big, then they will take a lot of supply, but it's all manageable.”