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We invited Brandi Koskie, managing editor for DietsInReview.com to give her view on the conscious consumer. DietsInReview.com is a website that offers the latest news and trends on cooking, fitness, nutrition and health.

I used to be an anomaly at the grocery store. I’m one of those “hippies” who actually flips over a package of food and reads the information on the back. But lately, I’m part of a loud and growing majority; an international study published at ScienceDaily found that 74 percent of women habitually read nutrition labels.

86541117It’s an important use of my time. It’s worth the few seconds to scan the ingredients and make sure there aren’t any of what I, and leading health experts, consider nutrient-void, dangerous, unhealthy or even unnecessary. There are at least two apps on my phone and a lot of hard-knocks education that guide these decisions. I’m more concerned with what’s in my food than the nutrition facts, and I’m not the only one.

 

This month’s FoodThink paints a portrait of the health-conscious shopper (hi, that’s me!). She’s a she, aged 25-44, educated, earns a higher income and tends to not have children. That summary paints a perfect demographic portrait of me, except that I do have a toddler.

I used to blindly (and gladly) throw anything in my cart that looked edible. I didn’t care how processed it was, how many colors were in it, which type of sweeteners were used or where it came from – I just wanted to fill up on food that tasted good.

Then I made a conscious effort to see what all goes into the food I purchase. I decided I wanted to feed my family fuel, not just food. This is what happens when consumers educate themselves.

As the face of a conscious consumer, there are a few things marketers and food manufacturers should know about me … about us.

  • The claims on the front of the package only matter if they can be supported on the back. All too often they can’t.
  • “Natural” doesn’t mean much to me. It’s an unregulated term that goes unenforced by the FDA. Tell me it’s organic, local and/or GMO-free and now you have my attention.
  • Brand name won’t always win and neither will price. In fact, I’m just as likely to buy an off brand that’s the cheapest as I am to buy a name brand that’s the most expensive if it meets my standards. And often, the private labels win out.

Where my food comes from and how it is produced is very important to me. Whether its antibiotic-free chicken, seafood that is wild caught, or local and organic produce, the food I give to my family will be the healthiest and best option possible.

If you can give consumers what we want – real, whole food – we will rally around your brand. We’re seeing that happen every day. The SHS FoodThink infographic this month shows that consumers are 42 percent more likely to trust bloggers and social media about their food information than any other source. When consumers like me find a brand that’s doing it right, we’ll shout it loud and proud from any platform we have and you will reap the benefits when “hippies” like me roll in to the grocery store.

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