Prepared Foods Exclusive: Targeting Specific Consumer Groups

February 16/Chicago/Prepared Foods Magazine & Datamonitor -- When marketers target products at women, they can use a wide range of strategies. According to Datamonitor's Business Insights, this is because women have specific nutritional needs and aspirations arising from their physiological reproductive capacities, have a strong interest in looking good through weight control and beauty, and typically respond to appeals that reference feminine colors and other feminine associations in packaging and product name/styling. Women’s key nutritional concerns will vary according to their stage in the life course, their associated health/wellness needs and lifestyle priorities. In these ways, marketers can target women as individuals.

Unlike women, men are not recognized as having physiological health and wellness needs specific to their reproductive capacities. Compared to women, this restricts the range of ways marketers can target men as a consumer group. A central marketing strategy in making a personalized appeal to men centers around offering performance enhancement benefits, either sexually, or in sporting activities, or generally in terms of demanding work and lifestyle activities.

Manufacturers of products for the senior market tend to appeal to the health and wellness concerns that aging gives rise to amongst the senior consumer, particularly in terms of cardiovascular health, bone and joint health and cognitive vitality. As well as targeting seniors directly, marketers can also appeal to the carers of elderly people, who may be seeking to boost the nutritional benefits required to maximize health of those they are looking after.

Marketers of personalized food and drinks products for children always have to address two consumer groups, both at point of purchase and point of consumption. Since most children are unlikely to purchase food and drinks productsindependently, targeted appeals at point of purchase to parents is a key strategy. Here, the nutritional value of the food and drink product is a key concern, especially in terms of healthy development benefits. Meanwhile, children have to be engaged as consumers at the point of consumption, as well as sometimes at the point of purchase. Here, marketers have to appeal to children aesthetically, playfully and in terms of flavors.

The Future of the Market
Women will remain the leading consumer group for personalized food and drinks. This is because they exhibit a distinctive consumer profile in terms of health conditions (especially those related to women’s reproductive capacities), and due to the value placed on women’s sexual attractiveness, the pressure to look good. These characteristics mean that women find particular appeal in products that can offer tailored health and wellness benefits especially for them, including in terms of menstruation, pregnancy and breastfeeding, the menopause, IBS, weight control, skin health and beauty.

"Consumer Targeting in Food and Drinks: Lifestyle brands, personalized nutrition and customized flavors", published by Business Insights, offers an examination of such issues as the individulization of lifestyles and responsibility for health and wellness; nutrigenomics; and customization of tastes and flavors.

This report analyzes consumer and manufacturer drivers, looks at leading product categories and ingredients, and examines new product development in the key markets of Europe, the United States and Japan.

From the February 16, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition