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On Tuesday July 21st, in conjunction with our partners at Harbinger Communications, we presented our webinar on successfully launching functional foods in Canada. It is full of interesting and timely insights into the size of the opportunity, how marketers can capitalize on it, and important ways that the target segment has been changing during these COVID times (and is different than the U.S.).
Those who watch the full webinar will get additional context on the key insights, particularly noting that Harbinger provides great advice on what marketers need to be thinking about and doing based on these insights during the summary slide of each section.
As a preview, here is one insight from each section that I found particularly interesting:
Section 1: Defining interest in functional foods – and why there is such a significant opportunity in Canada
The functional food target segment in Canada is LESS LIKELY to be buying functional foods right now than their counterparts in the U.S., but are MORE LIKELY to be selecting food & beverages for health reasons. This is a great indicator of untapped demand.
Section 2: But there’s a big factor to overcome – the ever more intense interest in “Natural”
While the opportunity is large, it must be noted that the target (and shoppers in general) have been leaning even further towards buying products as natural as possible. The key insight from this is that target is looking for better healthy food options, and a new functional food offering needs to prove why the enhancement is a superior choice to a more natural version.
Section 3: Important ways the functional food target is changing their mindset and behaviors
The functional food target has been becoming more focused on food and beverages that will enhance their current (vs. ensuring future good) health, particularly seeking extra day-to-day energy/ stamina. This is important in relation to both which new product launches will most resonate, and how to best communicate them.
Section 4: What the functional food target is looking for – in terms of nutrients – for functional foods
One of the key differences between Canada and the U.S. is that interest in fibre is far higher in Canada, while interest in protein is far higher in the U.S, while most other nutrients are ranked relatively similarly. Noting that those interested in such differences between the U.S. and other parts of the world on protein should watch episode 4 of Zac Efron’s new show “Down to Earth” (which I highly recommend overall).
Section 5: What the functional food target is buying and are interested in for functional foods – in terms of categories
3-4x as many Canadians are buying the most popular functional food categories than the least popular ones – but stated interest levels in them are only double. This is another great indication of untapped demand across many of the categories, with smoothies, juices, and snacks standing out in particular.
Section 6: How functional food target feels about their expertise – and how they educate themselves
Canadians are less likely than Americans to consider themselves experts on food, yet more likely to be skeptical about any information they receive. This points towards the importance of marketers conveying a consistent and compelling message across multiple channels, an area Harbinger’s President Deborah Adams provides a particularly excellent overview of in the summary of the webinar.
If you are unable to view the webinar or download the presentation, or would be interested in learning more, please feel free to contact us – and look to this site for more details on a lot of the sections in the weeks to come.