Blog: Dean BestDigestion IS important - just ask the girls

Dean Best | 21 August 2007

In the corporate stampede towards meeting the consumer’s “need” for “healthier” products, hundreds, if not thousands of products, have been launched around in the world in recent months.

With every launch comes the associated press release, often with what appears to be a series of outlandish claims backed by the latest so-called “survey” of consumer attitudes.

And today (21 August), it seemed that General Mills had fallen into that trap with the announcement of the launch of Yo-Plus, a probiotic yogurt, in the US.

General Mills declared Yo-Plus would meet growing demand among US women for a way to better regulate digestion. And how did the company know that? Through the ubiquitous survey.

“A national survey,” General Mills claimed, “revealed that nearly 50% of women are extremely concerned with their digestive health and discuss the issue frequently.”

Really? Is that what women talk about now? “Digestive issues?” Doesn’t seem likely.

But alas, a quick survey around the just-food office, proved (once again) how little I know about the female of the species.

“Women claim to feel bloated a lot – probably more so than men because women are more conscious of their looks and weight – so women would be keen to try anything that would make them feel lighter and less bloated,” one said.

Perhaps, sometimes, us journalists can be a little too sceptical.


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