Exploding Growth in Food: “Healthier With Tasty Hispanic Flair”

Brands that innovate by combining “Better for You” alternatives combined with some ethnic flair tend to achieve 3 to 5 times faster buyer growth than the mere Total Market (TM) 0.3% average. In other words, Healthy-minded consumers want to join in on the fun, and innovative brands are helping them bake the cake and eat it too…literally! The three big high buyer growth, high wellness score winners for Total Market are: Organic everything, Ready-to-serve dips, and Ethnic Ready to Eat. What this means is that growth will not come from just adding a jalapeño flavor to your product, but it MUST also be good for you (Organic Spicy Nachos Chips….please!).

Microwavable Burritos, Nachos with Guac & Refried Beans…might sound like the menu items at a Super Bowl 49 party, but a recent statistical analysis of GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer™ purchase data and wellness mindsets across buyers of food categories between 2011 and 2014 reveals a remarkable new trend in the marketplace: the Healthy-minded, followed by the ‘occasionally healthy’ consumers,  want to join in on the taste and fun, and innovative brands are helping them bake new cakes and eat it too…literally!

The study reveals that a revolution in the supermarket is taking place. Healthy products are no longer constrained to bitter kale, weird sounding fruit and beverages (What is Kambucha, and where is it from), or flavorless quinoa.  In fact, Brand Revolutionaries, are unchaining themselves from the stereotypical, and going into things like Street Tacos, Organic Burritos, Flourless Organic Raisin Bread, and Frozen Veggie BBQ Ribs.  All of these are experiencing amazing Buyer and Volume growth rates well above most food categories.

The Santiago Solutions Group study identified a very strong statistical trend that links high wellness score[1] categories to above average buyer growth rates among Millennials and the Total Market (TM).  To be more precise, for every 10 points increase in Wellness Score, category buyer growth accelerates 1.6% points annually for the Total Market and 0.9% for Millennials. That is a boost of 3 to 5 times faster growth than the mere 0.3% average food sub-category growth in the U.S. from 2011 to 2014. In other words, wellness is the prescription for growth in the fatigued food business.


The three big high buyer growth & high wellness score winners on the Total Market are:

  • Organic everything
  • Ready-to-serve dips
  • Ethnic Ready to Eat (various formats).

So as a brand manager, what does this mean to you? If you are playing in a more indulgent sector, then there are 3 things you need to do to boost your growth:

  1. Put a tasty ethnic flair (at least a Latino flair) in your product
  2. Provide a “Better For You” Alternative (Organic, All-Natural, Vegetarian, Gluten-free)
  3. Market you innovation correctly to the right wellness sub-segment in the right retailers…going too healthy is not always the answer to growth.

Understand that growth will not come from just adding a jalapeño flavor to your product, but it MUST also be good for you (Organic Poblano Veggie Chips….please!).  Wellness Consumers and Millennials, in general, want to grow YOUR brand. Just take the guilt out of eating your flavorful products by making it with good quality, all-natural ingredients, and they will pay even double for that product than they are used to, if they can get BOTH flavor and wellness.  If you add a social cause associated with it, from sustainability to the local children’s hospital, well then even the planet super-heroes will be after your Brand.

[1] SSG Wellness Spectrum™ powered by GfK MRI, enables brands to identify the wellness standing of their current brands and plan updated wellness strategies to more effectively reach their best source of growth among levels of healthy-driven, or not so healthy-minded consumers. Using representative projectable data and rigorous mathematical propensity modeling, this tool answers 3 main challenging questions for Marketers:

  1. Which segments to pursue
  2. What kind of products to offer to whom, where, and how
  3. How to go to market effectively, ultimately leading to significant growth.

By interfacing with Acxiom and other Big Data providers, the Wellness Spectrum segments and scores can also enrich client databases for efficient targeting whether in a trade area, 1:1, or within a store.

About Us
SSG is a strategy, analytics and research consulting firm; experts in guiding clients’ growth strategies by leveraging Big Data, advanced consumer research, predictive modeling, and innovative segmentations. We uncover actionable consumer segment insights that enhance clients’ marketing effectiveness and optimize sustainable total market growth. We arm clients with intelligence and roadmaps, including ‘size of the prize’, drivers to purchase, and customer journeys across marketing “Ps,” aligned with ROI targets for Millennial, Multicultural, Hispanic and Total Market


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