Food manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware of how FDA approved health claims on their products positively affect sales. 

According to research by Mintel, more than four out of every ten respondents actively seek out foods to help or prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, tooth decay and cancer.

Fewer though seek out foods to prevent osteoporosis and birth defects. Specifically, females are more likely than male respondents to seek out foods to help/prevent specific conditions, especially tooth decay, osteoporosis and birth defects. In addition, women are more likely to be aware about personal health matters than men.

Nearly seven out of ten Americans agree that it is easier to make purchase decisions when food products bear printed health claims.  This finding would further support that more consumers are reading labels while shopping and most likely are making active comparisons before choosing a product.  Whenever possible, therefore, manufacturers would benefit by incorporating such claim labels into their packaging design.

Mintel’s report FDA Approved Health Claims in Food market, reveals that these foods (those included in this study) showed a six-year sales increase of 29%.  As the older end of the Baby Boomer generation starts to encounter conditions associated with aging such as osteoporosis and high cholesterol, they will increasingly show a more active interest in staving off illnesses through increased exercise and become more proactive about seeking foods that might reduce the risk of disease. Therefore, the foods associated with such benefits are predicted to increase some 23% in current prices by 2007.  As the industry becomes more aware of how to leverage these claims on labels, it will become more routine for these consumers to shop by identifying icons or looking for printed approvals when they shop.

The perception of a relationship between foods and specific health conditions suggests that clear and accurate labelling, as well as point of purchase information, may go a long way in generating sales of foods perceived to be healthful.