USA: Anxious consumers drive headlines: Food and beverage firms court the concerned
Today's revelation of "unlawful" genetically modified corn in taco shells adds fuel to the growing biotech controversy, putting Kraft on the defensive as it tries to reassure consumers about the safety of its products. Meanwhile, sprinkled in between the usual earnings projections and new appointments are proactive announcements such as Tyson's new deal with the hunger-fighting group Share Our Strength, Bestfoods' launch of a new soy beverage, and Con-Agra's purchase of a veggie foods company. Collectively, these reveal the mounting importance of new consumer constituencies.
"Consumers expect more than ever from what they eat and drink-and from the food and beverage manufacturers who make these products," says Glenn Grimshaw, an analyst with Promar International. "For many, it's no longer enough that a product tastes good and satisfies their hunger or thirst. They want their food and beverages to make them healthier (or be demonstrably harmless) and maybe help save the world a little bit, too."
To steer companies toward success with these consumers, Promar has recently published an in-depth study called "THE CONCERNED US CONSUMER: Finding opportunities in anxiety." Analyzing five areas that trigger or address consumer anxiety (genetically modified foods, organic foods, functional foods, vegetarian foods and ethical business practices), this study reveals which issues will continue to resonate-with whom and why. The study also pinpoints opportunities for companies seeking to court these consumers actively.
"Yesterday's fringe issues are taking hold with record numbers of mainstream consumers," says Grimshaw. "Obviously not every consumer cares about these issues or practices total vigilance when they shop, but in today's hyper competitive market, food and beverage companies can't afford to ignore these consumers. Just like the swing voters who will determine elections this fall, swaying consumers at the margin can spell the difference between profit and loss."
"THE CONCERNED US CONSUMER" is available for $14,000. For orders placed by October 2, 2000 customers can receive either a brief customized write-up on study implications, or schedule a conference call to discuss the study with Promar senior managers. For study details, please see: http://www.promarinternational.com/Brochures/ConcernedConsumer3.pdf
About The Company: Promar International specializes in providing strategic marketing assistance to the food, beverage, and agribusiness sectors. We are global in our reach, with offices in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. For additional information about Promar please visit http://www.promarinternational.com.
Companies: Tyson Foods
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