The swirl of Health and Wellness activity continues to dominate the news in the grocery and food trade-rags, websites, blogs and even some consumer publications. This makes sense given both the real importance of helping the shopper simplify their grocery selection process and the quiet targeting of food manufacturers and retailers that is going on in both government and tort-lawyer back-rooms across the country.
From the consumers standpoint, food is fundamental to the definition of Wellness. In a recent GFK study of the American consumer, those consumers find Consumer Advocates or H&W Guru’s as the most trustworthy in giving them accurate advice. Supermarkets are next most dependable with food processors and the Government lagging quite a bit behind. In other words the Supermarket/Health Expert efforts currently evolving, enjoy the consumer confidence necessary to succeed, IF they can execute.
If the parties can execute correctly! There are a bunch (technical term) of hurdles to doing this right. Some are business hurdles. Some are shopper interaction and communication hurdles and some, as I mentioned in earlier missives, are related to product data.
The data hurdles are perhaps the most severe, due to the fact that they are hidden until well into the development process. Most of the executives from both the Guru side of the equation and the Supermarket side, simply assume that accurate product information is readily available. Far from true. Some work done recently would indicate that less than a quarter of the food products that a Supermarket chain might want to include in one of these H&W rating programs has the necessary, accurate product information required to execute the program. Further, the gap between accurately rated products and those that are either not rated or not rated accurately is likely to increase over time. Prime Consulting and my company have looked carefully at this issue and have identified the likely holes in the ongoing process with which one needs to deal.