FOR BRANDS: How to Stand out in the Better-For-You Space

Did you know that 50% of consumers say that healthfulness has more of an impact on their purchase decision than it did 10 years ago (according to the 2020 IFIC Food and Health Survey)? It’s actually one of the top three purchase driving factors among Americans (just after taste and price).

With so many better-for-you products now on shelves, it’s as important as ever to get seen and stand out in the better-for-you space. But how can brands effectively do this?

A Confused Shopper Doesn’t Buy

We can’t assume consumers will immediately understand why they should eat or purchase a product. It’s up to you to tell them and when you don’t, you leave them confused or coming up with their own reasons for why they may or may not need it.

While we know that consumers value health, we also know that they’re still confused (just ask any dietitian/nutritionist!). Most consumers don’t pick up a product off the shelf and immediately understand it or why they need it. They’re confused about ingredients, nutrition, potential health benefits, and how to use various products. When it comes to your product, your consumer should be clear on all of the above because we all know a confused shopper doesn’t buy!

3 Keys to Standing Out in the Better-For-You Space

  1. Earn Credibility & Build Trust
    With this comes storytelling, publicity, transparency, education, and aligning yourself with the right people. Get your consumers to feel a connection with your brand.
  2. Ingredient Awareness
    49% of consumers say that whether they consider a product to be processed is a factor in their decision to buy foods and beverages. Note – it’s whether they consider it to be, not whether it actually is or not.
    Consumers are confused and don’t recognize ingredient names (even those of very simple ingredients – cassava flour, monk fruit, etc.). They don’t know why your product stands out compared to the one on the shelf next to it – it’s up to you to educate them.
  3. Understanding of Use
    If they see and understand the health benefits, the next step is using it. And if they can’t envision themselves using it – you likely won’t earn the sale. This is another great opportunity for consumer education.

The Ultimate Influencer

Influencer marketing became popular not only because of the influencer’s reach but because people who follow the influencer feel a connection and as if they have a relationship with the influencer. In other words, they trust this person. Your brand uses influencer marketing to tap into this trust. Consumers think if this person trusts the brand, I will too.

If you are a health-driven CPG brand, registered dietitians are your ultimate influencer. Why? Because their audience trusts them. But unlike the other influencers, RDs earn consumer trust more quickly because of their credibility and nutrition expertise.

When you align your brand with a credentialed nutrition expert they pass along their authority to you. You become ‘the brand a nutritionist eats’. And in the eyes of a health-conscious consumer, you become a valued, trusted, sought-after brand.

Unlike traditional influencers who are typically only respected and known on their platform of choice, dietitians influence people both in-person and online, in both their personal and professional lives. It’s their job to talk about food and health and make recommendations.

Food and nutrition experts are key because they can help in all areas of consumer education – trust, ingredient awareness, and understanding of use. They can answer specific lifestyle segment questions (from gut health to plant-based nutrition and more). They cam get your product in the hands of consumers (through client sampling, nutrition events, schools, sports teams, etc.), reach more people than traditional influencers, and reach a more ‘engaged’ or trusting audience.

Getting Experts to Talk about Your Products

When your brand lacks credibility and experts aren’t talking about your products, it may make you start to question the validity of your brand. Is it even that healthy? Do people even want this? They do, you just need to show them.

So if experts still aren’t talking about your brand – it’s time. The longer you wait the more you’re limiting your brand’s potential to grow. You’ve seen other big-name brands do it (think KIND, Simple Mills (GCG client), and siggi’s) and you can too. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming, expensive, or as daunting and overwhelming as you’re making it out to be.

To get started, put your focus on the relationship. Show the RDs you value them and their expertise. Make it about them rather than all about driving direct sales (see more mistakes brands make here). Be generous with product samples and coupons for them to share and be open to partnership opportunities. Here are a few ways you can get started finding RDs – just because you aren’t one doesn’t mean you can’t find them!

We may be biased but the truly best way to begin connecting with nutrition experts is through The RD LINK. Our new platform allows you to showcase your brand in front of hundreds of nutrition experts, filter by those who particularly align with your brand, send direct messages, save your favorites, and access exclusive partnership and sampling opportunities (and in these crazy COVID times we know just how valuable and rare these are). We’re currently in beta and are reopening the doors to more brands on August 24th – to be notified when we launch, join the waitlist here. Learn more about LINK here.

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