Growth Strategy Roadmap for Healthy CPG Products

Good Humor Breyers Deploys Growth Strategy Roadmap Based on a Comprehensive Factbase

According to the IFDA, the average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream per year.  With that much demand, there is always interest in healthy or healthier ice cream and frozen novelties.  This growth strategy roadmap for healthy CPG products is based on a comprehensive factbase.

Building a Comprehensive Factbase for the Growth Strategy Roadmap

Growth Strategy Roadmap for Healthy CPG Products

Good Humor Breyers asked us to first build a comprehensive factbase on the consumer perspective on “healthy.”  To build the factbase, we needed to integrate multiple sources to understand consumer insight around “healthy,” both for today and in the future.  A broad range of secondary sources were utilized, including data from:

  • Gallup
  • The Hartman Group
  • Mintel
  • Food Marketing Institute (FMI)
  • Morgan Stanley Equity Research
  • Nielsen
  • Millward Brown
  • HealthFocus Internationa
  • NPD
  • Packaged Facts, and more

Analytic Approach Focused on Four Main Issue Areas

Our approach focused on addressing four main issue areas:

  • Drivers
  • Target Consumers
  • Specific Features
  • Situations

Each of the four areas had specific issues that needed to be addressed. 

First Growth Strategy Roadmap Issue Area: Drivers

  • What are the different drivers of consumers’ needs for “healthy” ice-cream/novelty products?
    • Dieting for weight loss/obesity trend
    • Disease control, i.e., diabetes, heart disease
    • Positive nutritional benefits
    • Organic
    • Other
  • How big are each of these and what are the overlaps?

Example finding: Weight loss was the single biggest driver behind “watching what you eat.”   Not surprisingly, this driver was relatively more important to women and to older consumers.   This trend has continued as there are one hundred million obese adults in the United States, and more than two thirds of US adults qualify as obese or overweight. Other drivers included illness and health condition management. The top self-reported maladies were (1) tiredness/lack of energy, (2) stress, (3) overweight, (4) allergies, and (5) arthritis.

Growth Strategy Roadmap for Healthy CPG Products

Second Growth Strategy Roadmap Issue Area: Target Consumers

  • How well do current products address the needs of different target consumer segments?
    • Moms with kids at home
    • Younger adults (18-49) with no kids at home
    • Older adults (50+) with no kids at home
  • What are the unmet needs?
  • What are the current “solutions” and the problems with these solutions that we can address?

Example finding:  Many groups were examined, including motivational segments, dieters, health-condition managers, age, gender and ethnicity.  We also explored lifestage differences for moms, since the age of oldest child is very important, as written about in Tuning into Mom. Quantitatively, interest in healthy eating and nutritional value increases with age as does disease and ailment onset risk. The definition of healthy eating varied, with older adults having a much stricter definition of healthy eating than younger consumers, focusing more on portion size and fat reduction.  For instance, 80% of adults ages 65+ “try to eat healthier foods,” as compared with 50% of adults ages 18-24. 

Third Growth Strategy Roadmap Issue Area: Specific Features

  • What are the specific features that consumers are seeking in “healthy” products and how important are these?
    • Weight management
    • Absence/low saturated fat
    • No added sugar
    • Low sugar
    • Low carbohydrates
    • No trans fat
    • Organic
    • Lactose intolerant friendly
  • What can we learn from product innovation in other analogous categories against these benefits?

Example finding: A range of product features emerged as important when consumers determine the healthfulness of foods. These include fat-sugar-carbohydrate dynamics, natural ingredients, organic, fortified foods, superfoods, and more.  Price was the most important factor by far, followed by brand name.  After that, health claims and lack of preservatives/artificial ingredients were rising in importance.  Consumers try to eat healthier by restricting unhealthy foods and supplementing with healthy foods.  The healthy foods they were looking to consume more of included water, protein, oats/whole grains/fiber, fruits, vegetables, fish, and other seafood. 

Fourth Growth Strategy Roadmap Issue Area: Situations

  • What are the types of situations where consumers typically seek “healthy” ice-cream or novelty products?
    • Dessert
    • Evening snack
    • Lunch side dish
    • After school
    • Afternoon work snack
    • Other
  • What products are they currently using and what are their unmet needs in these situations?

Example finding:  When at home, consumers focus more on healthy eating for meals, rather than snacks.  Breakfast and lunch at home are considered relatively easy to control and to make healthier choices.  A typical attitude is:     

“At breakfast, it’s easy to do…fruit, cereal.”

“Unhealthy stuff takes longer to prepare.”

“If you don’t bring it into the house, you can’t eat it.”

Dinner at home was healthier when planned in advance, but there were many ways dinner could become less healthy, including reward-seeking, sociability, no time, “if, then” justification and more.

“Dinner’s a reward at the end of a long, stressful day.”

“Dinner’s a social meal.” (eat what rest of family eats)

“If you eat well all day, you can justify loosening a little in the evening.”

While healthy snacking is possible, the fact was most snacks were not healthy.  Special occasions (e.g., vacations, entertaining, holidays) and emotional eating (e.g., stressed, tired, down) were almost always less healthy. Overall, out-of-home consumers nearly always ate less healthy.

Primary Research with Target Consumers

After the secondary sources were summarized and reviewed, qualitative research explored the four focus consumer groups: older adults (50+), moms with kids at home, younger adults (18-49) with no kids. 

Developing the Growth Strategy Roadmap

After the primary research was complete, the Insight to Action team identified and sized eight healthy growth platforms. Some were much less developed and some were much more highly developed.  These included:

  • Inherently healthy/natural ingredients
  • Nutritional fortification
  • Fruit
  • Healthy performance
  • Health condition management
  • Balance: low fat and low sugar
  • Low sugar/low carb/no sugar added
  • Low fat

The healthy growth strategy roadmap identified specific product opportunities for both the near term (one to three years out) and the longer term (four to six years out) against the eight platforms.  These opportunities also spanned the major product formats, including packaged ice cream, frozen novelties and ice pops.  An example of the ideas within the fruit platform for the growth strategy roadmap is shown below.

Growth Strategy Roadmap for Healthy CPG Products

Stepping back, this case example shows how developing a comprehensive factbase leads to a sound growth strategy roadmap that a brand can use to drive new product offerings for several years.

Does your growth strategy need direction? Contact us to start a conversation with the experts at Insight to Action.

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