76% of Consumers Want Healthier Food Offerings in Drugstores

BY Rachel Cagle
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"The self-​care movement is playing a key role in reshaping health care in a way that drug store retailers and manufacturers can’t afford to ignore. Recent data from The Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey, in collaboration with Nielsen, shows that 18% of Americans reported health as a top concern, next only to the economy (22%) and immigration (19%)."

"With the threat of rising health care costs, consumers are prioritizing wellness and taking a more active role in managing their own health."

"Today’s health-​minded consumers are looking beyond medicine to manage their health, and opting for healthier food is a big part of this mindset. Increasingly for drugstores, the way to consumer wallets is through their diet. However, Nielsen’s 2019 Health Care study showed that only 24% of consumers are satisfied with the health food selection in drugstores, compared with 75% who expressed satisfaction of the health foods sold in traditional grocery stores. Within the drugstore market, there’s a golden opportunity for growth."

"Overall, consumers care about what’s in and what’s not in their diets. In 2019, consumers are making more room on their plate for fresh fruits, vegetables and wholesome foods, driven by diets such as Whole30, Keto and vegetarianism, and fresh produce is currently seeing the second-​highest absolute dollar growth of $2.4 billion. While fresh produce sales at the drugstore level is limited, manufacturers are making efforts to include more fruit and vegetables in their products in order to appeal to consumers looking to increase their consumption of healthier, better-​for-​you foods and beverages. That said, small convenience items containing fresh produce are viable and smart options for drug retail."

"In terms of this year’s healthy food trends, diets that are low in sugar, low carb and low in sodium are trending (meaning an increasing number of consumers are cutting out sugar, highly processed carbs and sodium-​rich foods). Popular diets like the Paleo diet or caveman diet require consumers to eat foods presumed to have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era, basically anything that looks like it came from a factory is off the table. While cholesterol-​friendly diets like Dash and low-​glycemic diets are both losing dollar sales and momentum, Nielsen data shows that there has been a notable increase of consumers following Keto, microbiotic and paleo-​style diets."

"With this broad understanding of the diets that are driving consumer food preferences, it’s just as important to gain visibility into what food attributes are driving purchase decisions at the shelf. 

"While many of the top attributes mirror the leading diet trends, like low sugar, low fat, high protein and low sodium, Nielsen’s 2019 Health Care study showed that consumers also value attributes like heart health (58%), natural (51%), free of artificial ingredients (50%) and vitamin/​mineral presence (47%).""For drugstores, the way to consumers’ wallets is through their diet. There is a need for drugstore retailers to reimagine their health food selection and an opportunity to do a better job in addressing the specific needs of today’s dietary needs and trends. Understand the trends. Identify the attributes and ingredients that are driving growth in your business, and recognize that health and wellness is not a one-​size-​fits-​all statement. As consumers take a more proactive interest in their own health and wellness, it’ll be crucial for drugstore players to understand the need across all; inclusive of generations, income, ailments and diets."

Drugstores that offer pharmaceutical services AND healthy food options would raise their appeal to Frequent Drugstore Shoppers, and advertisements are a great way to spread the word of extended product offerings. According to AudienceSCAN, last year, more than half of these shoppers took action after receiving an email ad and more than a quarter say that emails containing new product announcements are their favorite type of email to get from businesses. Last year, these shoppers also took action after seeing TV commercials, either seeing ads on their mobile smartphone apps or receiving text ads, receiving direct mail ads and hearing ads on either over-​the-​air or digital radio.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on drug stores/​pharmacies and discount stores, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.