With the US economy humming and food companies introducing premium products right and left, less affluent consumers are hiding in plain sight. Yet neglect of this consumer group is shortsighted, according to Promar International, since low income families remain a market of over 100 million consumers who spend nearly $165 billion annually on food products. Because food purchases represent a relatively high share of total expenses, these consumers tend to be careful shoppers. But they are not immune to the carefully pitched siren song of marketers."Like everyone else, low income consumers love to indulge, but they are selective," says Margaux Locklear, Strategic Marketing Analyst for Promar International. "Individual food items can provide the small indulgences that add convenience or the aura of a catered experience to the lives of families with incomes under $35,000."Promar International, the leading strategic consulting firm specializing in the food and beverage industry, is currently investigating how food companies can reach and retain low income consumers. THE UPSIDE OF DOWNSCALE: Marketing to low income US food consumers in the decade ahead will review winning and losing strategies of manufacturer and retailer pioneers and examine how changes in regulatory and economic conditions are likely to affect consumers."Low income consumers are value sensitive," Locklear observes. "But they're not just white bread and margarine shoppers. Sometimes their decisions are based on price, but often they trade up, particularly in categories like ethnic and natural foods where taste and authenticity matter." THE UPSIDE OF DOWNSCALE will provide direction for companies looking to develop and market innovative products that respond to this increasingly demanding consumer group. The study will be completed in September, and on publication it will cost $14,000. A discount is available for orders placed by September 15th. To view the study brochure please see: