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IRI Study Reveals Consumer Attitudes Toward Health, Diet & Nutrition

CHICAGO – Despite the fact that sales of natural and organic products are at an all-time high, fewer than 5 percent of U.S. adults participate in 30 minutes of daily physical activity, showing that consumer attitudes toward health, exercise, diet and nutrition vary widely, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI).

In order to help consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers identify and leverage these varying beliefs, IRI released the first NutriLink segmentation study, which classifies U.S. consumers into six groups based on their behavior and attitudes toward health, diet and nutrition, as well as their demographics.

"Attitudes vary drastically across the NutriLink segmentation, so a clear understanding of each group's specific wants and needs is essential for effective targeting and enticing shoppers," said IRI's Robert I. Tomei, president, consumer and shopper marketing. "These insights can also unlock new opportunities to drive sales volume, increase consumer loyalty and develop successful new products."

While only three of the six NutriLink segments are actively pursuing healthier lifestyles, all represent notable growth opportunities:

  • Fast and Frugal — These shoppers have a median income of $36,000, a median age of 46 and make up 26 percent of shoppers. Taste and price are key concerns. Due to their on-the-go lifestyle, they rarely exercise and prefer foods that can be prepared quickly and easily or are ready to eat.
  • Sensible Super Moms — These savvy mothers prioritize eating right and exercising, prefer fresh food and actively seek information on nutrition and healthy eating, though they believe indulgent snacks can be part of a healthy diet. These shoppers have a median income of $46,000, a median age of 42 and make up 20 percent of the population.
  • Wise and Healthy — These shoppers are not as adversely affected by changes in the economy and can afford to buy healthy, nutritious groceries, due to having a median age of 68 and median income of $49,000. They make an effort to exercise daily and believe in eating healthy food at least 80 percent of the time to stay healthy and disease-free. They make up 16 percent of shoppers.
  • Healthy Chic – These shoppers actively try to improve eating habits and tend to follow strict diets or eat healthy at least 80 percent of the time to stay healthy and maintain or lose weight. This segment has a median income of $76,000, a median age of 44 and accounts for 16 percent of the population.
  • Convenient and Content – These shoppers do not put a premium on diet or exercise, and their food choices tend to revolve around taste and convenience instead of health. They are not particularly affected by changes in the economy due to their average age of 54 and median income of $65,000. They make up 14 percent of the population.
  • Carefree Coasters – These shoppers generally eat on the run and are largely indifferent to taste, freshness, healthiness and price, according to IRI. They spend little time thinking about what they eat and are not concerned with calories or nutrition. They have a median age of 50, a median income of $38,000 and account for 9 percent of the population.

IRI completed the NutriLink segmentation in October based on a survey of demographically balanced respondents from the National Consumer Panel, the researcher said.

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