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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Look for these LOHAS consumer trends at Expo West

Look for these LOHAS consumer trends at Expo West
Transparency, product labeling, and “free of” were some the biggest trends noted in this year’s survey.

Market LOHAS recently published its 2015 MamboTrack Natural and Organic Shopper Survey, and the results highlight several of the key healthy brand drivers behind the double-digit growth in natural/better-for-you products. Expo West is an excellent opportunity to see first-hand how several of these key trends are fueling the innovation we see in natural products.

"We are seeing a new trend towards transparency and healthy food sourcing, with a majority of shoppers caring about and wanting to know more about the products they consume," said Karen Herther and Bethany Stanley, principals of Market LOHAS, who directed the MamboTrack Research. "People want to understand where and how their food was produced."

Transparency, product labeling, and “free of” were some the biggest trends in this year’s survey. Consumers are reading labels more than ever before (up to 75 percent of them). They want trusted ingredients that meet their needs, and they will pay a premium for products that deliver. Branded items are gaining favor, and price is becoming less important to conscious consumers. For these consumers, quality and transparency equal value.

The survey noted that coupons drive product trial. For many consumers, coupons make experimenting with new natural products more affordable. Seventy-nine percent of healthy consumers said that coupons allowed them to buy more natural/organic products. 62 percent of consumers use coupons to buy healthy brand name products, compared to 60 percent buying store brands.  

Transparency and clean labels are becoming the new standard for natural products.  Over half of consumers surveyed want to be able to trace ingredients back to their supplier. Eighty-six percent of shoppers now read product/ingredient labels with a focus on product certifications. Top source products include produce, meat/poultry and dairy.

“Free of” was another huge trend identified in the survey. Gluten-free was at the top of the dietary list (36 percent), followed by dairy/lactose free (32 percent), plant based/vegetarian (31 percent), and Paleo (13 percent). Snacks, cereal and staple products lead the list of most-purchased gluten-free items.

Non-GMO continues to be a key focus of consumers. The survey indicated that shoppers chose non-GMO as a key brand purchase driver (57 percent) edging ahead of organic (53 percent). Shoppers want brands they can trust.    

Expo West provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about all of these important issues through the education tracks beginning Wednesday. This year promises to be an exciting show filled with thousands of brands focused on giving consumers innovative products that meet their needs for transparency, quality, clean label, etc.  

The 2015 Market LOHAS MamboTrack Natural and Organic Shopper Survey was fielded online among 1,000 health conscious consumer panelists in December 2014 by Market LOHAS leaders in health/eco shopper marketing research, brand visibility and content marketing solutions. MamboTrack is offered in partnership with Mambo Sprout Marketing, the leader in natural, organic and green product marketing, coupon and promotional services.

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