Marketers are working to give a healthier glow to many products perceived as not so good for you by increasingly nutrition-conscious consumers. Health-conscious buyers have made foods and beverages with natural and organic labeling or FDA-approved health claims a $44 billion-a-year business, according to market researcher Mintel. The number of new products making health claims is up 44 percent since 2003, it reports. "Healthy lifestyles are a sticking point for consumers today," says Mintel analyst Lynn Dornblaser.
Just a few making an effort to clean up their act are 7Up, Wrigley, Dunkin Donuts and CocoaVia. The original 7Up soda is now "100 percent natural" following a reformulation to eliminate an artificial preservative and also has 50 percent less sodium. Gum-maker Wrigley is supporting 10 studies in China, the United States and the UK to follow research indicating that gum chewing may help dieting, stress reduction and concentration. Dunkin' Donuts -- a big coffee seller -- recently sponsored a media event at which nutritionists discussed studies indicating that caffeine could reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease. CocoaVia chocolate treats have high levels of cocoa's natural flavanols, which have been linked with heart health, and the company will be highlighting their benefits.
SNEWS® View: As the healthy spin becomes more mainstream, we can't doubt that it will grow beyond food but to general lifestyle matters also. And that includes more physical activity of all kinds, from structured to unstructured.