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October 15, 2019

2 Min Read

With consumers becoming increasingly empowered to take control of their health, being a responsible company is more important than ever. In the supplement industry, this is about elevating best practices, understanding potential lightning rod issues and telling a positive story to meet the demands of increasingly informed shoppers. When the supplement industry faces major challenges, being transparent and perpetuating an honest, proactive narrative is critical to cultivating confidence. “We want to actively build positive perceptions of our industry and work to avoid the next attack,” says Eric Pierce, vice president of business insights at New Hope Network.

In order to stay ahead of negative media and quell misconceptions about the industry, New Hope Network’s Inside the Bottle initiative conducted research to help suppliers, brands and retailers proactively manage the issues that could have industrywide negative impacts and mitigate the aftershock of unfavorable media headlines. Here’s what we found.

Negative media can impact purchase intent

supp-consumers-negative-media.pngOn average, there is a 30% decline in purchase intent among consumers exposed to a negative supplement industry news article.

Staying ahead of lightning rod issues

As a responsible retailer, it’s important to develop stringent vetting standards, as well as highlight your partners’ commitment to science and quality. And don’t forget to always listen to your customer. “Consumers want to feel confident in what they are buying in order to have a sense of trust and security,” says Pierce. So which supplement industry issues are on consumers’ minds?

Our method: We asked 500 consumers representative of the U.S. general population to evaluate 16 topics related to the supplement industry in order to help the industry prioritize and address potential concerns. The top two are below.

First priority: adulteration and finished goods testing. Consumers want to feel confident in what they are buying and, not surprisingly, adulteration and finished goods testing are issues that can significantly impact consumer trust and willingness to engage with the category. Third-party testing for purity, quality and potency, and developing partnerships with companies that make this commitment, should be a top priority industrywide.

Second priority: genetic modification and synthetics technology. Consumers are increasingly making informed decisions about the products they buy and they want to know exactly what they’re getting. GMOs have been a hot button issue in the food world—but concerns don’t stop there. Our research found that genetic modification and use of synthetic ingredients and synthetic technology are areas that demand transparency in supplements. While completely removing these practices from the supplement supply chain isn’t a reality, the industry can stay ahead of communicating the why behind the technologies, ingredients and practices.

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