April 19/Chicago/HealthFocus International Press Release -- According to the HealthFocus®Trend study, 77% of shoppers are interested in natural foods, but what does “natural” really mean to shoppers and how can brands deliver against that?  For an effective strategy, it is critical to understand not just how shoppers definenatural, but also when “natural” as a brand attribute is most important to them, and how important it is relative to other things like taste and price.

HealthFocus® will be exploring this topic in a syndicated study in the U.S. that will examine approximately 50 individual brands by asking shoppers to rate them relative to how natural they think they are. The study will also determine why each brand is or isn’t natural to shoppers and how to improve their perception.  Sponsors of this study will also be able to enter brands of their own choosing to see how shoppers rate them and how they rate against other brands.

The study will explore:

¨      an open ended definition of natural from shoppers

¨      whether natural means safer and healthier

¨      how ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, flavors and colors, sweeteners, trans fat, and preservatives affect brands

¨      whether organic foods are considered to be natural

¨      whether fortified foods are considered to be natural

¨      how shoppers rate 59 different food and beverage categories when looking through a “natural” lens

¨      how shoppers rate approximately 50 different foods and beverage brands when looking through a “natural” lens. (shoppers will view a picture of each brand prior to evaluating)

The cost of this study is $8,600 which includes up to 5 brands for evaluation.  Additional brands can be added to the study at $300/brand.  Each individual brand will be evaluated by 100 shoppers. To include brands in the study, the sponsor must provide artwork for each brand.

For more information on the study content and timing, contact Julie.Johnson@healthfocus.com

From the April 25, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.