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Nutrition Industry Must Tackle Childhood Obesity Epidemic Head On

Over the last several months, the NBJ team has been deeply immersed in studying, researching, analyzing and scrutinizing the U.S. healthy children’s market for our U.S. Healthy Kids’ Market Overview issue (which is hot off the presses this week). The more I learn about childhood obesity and the food our kids are eating, the more convinced I become that the nutrition industry must step up and address this problem head on. I mean, heck, we’re living in a country where kids eat more French fries than they do vegetables.

Sure, progress is being made in improving the way our children eat, and this industry is playing an important role in educating parents and kids about nutrition and in rolling out healthier food and beverage offerings for kids. Yet, so much more could be done to create even-better-for-you products that prime children for a lifetime of healthier eating. I'm not talking about organic versions of candy or cookies, but rather tasty, nutrient-dense foods and beverages that help teach kids at an early age to appreciate and crave healthy, whole food fare.

In fact, I believe a convergence of forces—the Obama administration’s focus on children’s nutrition, the childhood obesity epidemic, parents’ growing concern over food quality and safety, and even the troubled economy—is creating a “sweet spot” in the kids’ market for the U.S. nutrition industry. Yes, children’s products in general are hot, but the real growth is likely to be in natural and organic offerings that are truly healthy and free from long ingredient lists, artificial colors and preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup and even common allergens, such as gluten and nuts. As our research and interviews with more than 25 companies revealed, parents are proving increasingly willing to pay for such products for their kids, even if it means scrimping on something for themselves in the current economy.

On May 28, NBJ will host a Web seminar that is designed to help companies evaluate, break into and succeed in the U.S. healthy kids’ market. Along with providing an overview of children’s product sales by category, we’ll delve into product trends and opportunities, finance and investment options for healthy kids’ product companies, and advice on how to target and effectively communicate with mothers from a moms marketing expert. If your company is operating in, attempting to move into or simply evaluating the children’s nutrition market, you’ll want to attend this Web seminar. To register, contact Chris Lasonde at

Also in May, NBJ will publish our in-depth report on the U.S. Healthy Kids' Market.

Related links:

U.S. Healthy Kids' Market Positioned to Tackle Obesity and Other Top Health Issues

Renegade Lunch Lady Takes on School Lunch Programs

Kids' Obesity Epidemic Spurs Paradigm Shift in Schools' Vending Machine Policies

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