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Marketing Nutrition

Marketing Nutrition: Soy, Functional Foods, Biotechnology, and Obesity

Series: The Food Series
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Marketing Nutrition
    Book Description:

    Although encouraging people to eat more nutritiously can promote better health, most efforts by companies, health professionals, and even parents are disappointingly ineffective. Consumer confusion has lead to floundering sales for soy foods; embarrassing results for expensive Five-a-Day for Better Health programs; and uneaten mountains of vegetables at homes and in school cafeterias. Brian Wansink's Marketing Nutrition focuses on why people eat the foods they do, and what can be done to improve their nutrition. _x000B_Wansink argues that the true challenge in marketing nutrition lies in leveraging new tools of consumer psychology (which he specifically demonstrates) and by applying lessons from other products' failures and successes. The same tools and insights that have helped make less nutritious products popular also offer the best opportunity to reintroduce a nutritious lifestyle. The key problem with marketing nutrition remains, after all, marketing._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09279-4
    Subjects: Marketing & Advertising

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Credits
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    Marketing is not simply a clever “Got Milk” advertising campaign, a fifty-cent coupon on a soy burger, or a convenient combination pack of precut vegetables. In the context of nutrition, marketing is much broader. It focuses on all efforts to encourage and enable people to eat more nutritiously. Many people involved in marketing might call it education, public service, or simply good parenting. Sometimes it takes the form of education programs or innovative distribution programs; sometimes it takes the form of more direct efforts. Marketing encompasses the following types of decisions:

    A dietitian is thinking how to best motivate a...


    • ONE Nutrition Knowledge That Matters
      (pp. 13-20)

      Many people want to believe that nutritional knowledge is power. That is, they believe that if we can simply educate people so that they can pass a nutrition quiz, they will all eat better.

      Almost everyone knows that fruit is better for them than cookies, that a salad is better for them than french fries, and that broiled fish is better for them than a deep-fried pork chop. Despite this knowledge, cookie sales remain high, pork production is increasing, and even though a $0.99 garden salad at Burger King is less expensive than a $1.29 order of french fries, it...

    • TWO Classified World War II Food Secrets
      (pp. 21-32)

      How can we get people to eat better? Many programs and campaigns to change eating habits, such as the “Five-a-Day” fruit and vegetable campaign, have met with costly, disappointing short-term results. Most recently, the adoption of healthful or functional foods has been slow because consumers are wary to try unfamiliar, initially unappealing foods such as soy. How can functional foods that appear unfamiliar or unappealing be incorporated into mainstream diets and long-term eating patterns? If we look back at World War II, we will find lessons that we can apply today to help address this question.

      In the years just...

    • THREE If It Sounds Good, It Tastes Good
      (pp. 33-44)

      To what extent do labels influence our taste of a product? Can a label actually make us think a food tastes good or bad? Although this general issue of taste suggestibility is not often academically studied, it has a rich anecdotal history. Studies during World War II examined the feasibility of serving organ meats (such as brains, kidneys, tongue, and liver) as potential replacements for shortages of more traditional meats. Whereas initial taste was nearly acceptable when organ meats were unlabeled, once they were labeled, the taste was rated as unequivocally unacceptable by many segments of people (Wansink 2002). Therefore,...


    • FOUR Profiling the Perfect Consumer
      (pp. 47-60)

      At least some part of the population will adopt an unfamiliar but nutritious food simply because it’s more healthful, but a larger portion will do so only if the taste of this food is preferable to alternatives. To better understand the types of people who have adopted a healthful unfamiliar food, it could be beneficial to profile those who did so because they like the taste.

      In contrast to health-motivated food choices (“I eat it because it’s supposed to be good for me”), taste-motivated preferences have long been shown to provide an enduring motivation for dietary change. Why should we...

    • FIVE Mental Maps That Lead to Consumer Insights
      (pp. 61-72)

      We know that people have different attitudes about food, but how are these attitudes influenced? Several factors, such as food preferences, beliefs, values, socioeconomic status, and knowledge of nutrition, influence the formation of food attitudes. Understanding why and how people choose the foods they do will help us develop a more targeted marketing communication strategy and ultimately influence their eating behavior.

      One way to do this is by drawing mental maps. Mental maps represent how different characteristics of a food are associated with one another. That is, when a person thinks of blueberries, she might think of them as low...

    • SIX Targeting Nutritional Gatekeepers
      (pp. 73-82)

      The biggest single driver of consumption is the availability of a particular food. In most households, what is eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks is determined by what the primary grocery shopper—the food gatekeeper—has purchased. If a teenager wants to eat Pop-Tarts but they are not in the house, he or she will probably not eat Pop-Tarts. The teenager would have to make a separate trip to the grocery store, borrow some from a neighbor, or persuade the gatekeeper to buy them on the next shopping trip.

      If only rice cakes are available, the teenager must decide...


    • SEVEN The De-marketing of Obesity
      (pp. 85-99)

      People want a variety of high-value, tasty foods that they can have in large quantities whenever they want. Years of evolution and learned behavior have led people away from eating foods that are less palatable and less convenient to obtain. This is one reason overeating at McDonald’s is so much easier to do than convincing children to eat broccoli.

      Although they cater to our biological interests, food companies have recently been accused of contributing to the growing problem of obesity in the United States. Because of our basic predisposition toward eating plentiful amounts of sweet and fattening foods, these companies...

    • EIGHT Why Five-a-Day Programs Often Fail
      (pp. 100-107)

      “Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.” Much research has been done on why some consumers follow this food guideline while others agree it is a good idea and then eat potato chips. Although much effort and money have been invested in programs such as the “Five-a-Day” program, there is no evidence that these programs are cost-effective, and many doubt whether they are working at all. Some findings, such as those in Figure 8.1, show that consumers are claiming to eat fewer fruits and vegetables as time goes on. This figure indicates a steady and embarrassing decline over...

    • NINE Winning the Biotechnology Battle
      (pp. 108-120)

      Functional foods and biotechnology often are wrongly perceived as interconnected in many consumers’ minds. New foods, enhanced with added nutritional characteristics, can be intimidating. Some consumers are afraid to try functional foods such as soy, fermented dairy products, and yogurt because they have preconceived notions about the risks involved with adopting them. Some consumers refuse to adopt new foods based on emotion, fear, or unfounded beliefs.

      How can we reduce such fear? If we look at consumer reactions to biotechnology, we can predict a lot about their behavior. Both proponents and opponents of biotechnology claim that their goal is to...

    • TEN Managing Consumer Reactions to Food Crises
      (pp. 121-136)

      Marketing nutrition is a process of encouraging people to make healthful choices that improve their well-being. What happens when contamination, terrorism, or disease is thought to threaten a part of the food supply? Some crises have influenced the recall, redesign, and communication efforts of individual companies (such as Tylenol, Perrier, Ford, Goodyear, and Shell). Others—such as the threat of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease) in beef—can compromise an entire industry.

      One of the dangers of food safety crises is that they can be triggered by concurrent events. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in...


    • ELEVEN Leveraging Food and Drug Administration Health Claims
      (pp. 139-149)

      “Reduce the risk of heart disease.” “Prevent osteoporosis.” Health claims such as these might influence our knowledge, but do they motivate us to change our behavior? When do health claims motivate us to eat better? Although effective food labeling and nutritional health claims can have an important impact on consumers, such efforts are not always successful. This chapter examines how the varying degrees of success of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) health claims provide insights that can help food regulatory agencies in all nations be more effective in their nutrition education and product labeling efforts.

      Past research on health...

    • TWELVE Health Claims: When Less Equals More
      (pp. 150-158)

      Should we make health claims lengthy and complete or catchy and quick? A longer, more complete health claim is most accurate, but a shorter one can be more easily processed and more persuasive. The concerns over Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims being accurate but misunderstood are well founded. Although the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act was intended to make food labels more useful and informative, consumers still do not always comprehend nutritional information. Many are skeptical of health claims, and they believe such claims are incomplete, misleading, or trivial. Part of the problem may be the way in which...


    • THIRTEEN Introducing Unfamiliar Foods to Unfamiliar Lands
      (pp. 161-171)

      If we look at food consumption patterns, we see that they are greatly affected by cultural differences. How do we encourage people to alter their consumption patterns and consume an unfamiliar food that could meet a key nutritional need? When developing a marketing strategy around a functional food, it is important to consider the cultural context and perceptions that may cause consumers to resist trying unfamiliar foods. This chapter offers a better understanding of consumer behavior, which will allow us to make marketing decisions that will lead to new food adoption and effective marketing of nutrition.

      During the rationing years...

    • FOURTEEN Global Best Practices
      (pp. 172-184)

      Many programs and campaigns to change eating habits have met with costly, disappointing, short-lived results. Most recently, even the adoption of functional foods has been slow because consumers are hesitant to try unfamiliar, initially unappealing foods. The earlier chapters of this book have focused on the insights that have resulted from a stream of research on this topic. Given this framework, this chapter examines a series of best practices from 153 functional food products across the world to provide suggestions that have proven successful in specific situations. They all focus on one basic question: “How can functional foods be incorporated...

  11. Conclusion: Looking Backward and Speeding Forward
    (pp. 185-196)

    As the Introduction to this book emphasized, marketing nutrition is not simply a clever “Got Milk” ad, a fifty-cent coupon on a soy burger, or a convenient combination pack of precut carrots. In the context of nutrition, marketing is much broader because it focuses on all efforts to persuade, encourage, and enable people to eat more nutritiously. Call it education, public service, or simply good parenting. Sometimes it takes the form of education programs or innovative distribution programs, and sometimes it takes the form of more direct efforts. Marketing involves determining how to help a patient eat a lower-fat diet,...

  12. References and Suggested Readings
    (pp. 197-204)
  13. Index
    (pp. 205-206)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 207-210)