The power of perception — Where consumer beliefs lie concerning natural foods: study

Dive Brief:

  • In terms of making all-natural products, three-quarters of Americans trust small, independent companies over large, established ones, according to a survey conducted by Instantly.
  • "Another 70% said they believe most natural foods brands are independent, compared to 30% who said they believe large companies own natural foods brands," Food Business News reported.
  • Over one-third of consumers said they would definitely have a more positive perception of a brand that replaces artificial ingredients with all-natural substitutes, and nearly one-third would be much more likely to buy that brand.

Dive Insight:

Getting ahead of consumer perceptions and ensuring consumers know that larger companies can be purveyors of natural foods is going to be crucial going forward.

"As demand for natural foods and ingredients rises, marketers need to be mindful about both the risks and opportunities that exist and position their brands carefully so as not to damage consumer trust," according to Andy Jolls, chief marketing officer at Instantly.

For cereals and cereal bars, 72% of consumers said removing artificial ingredients would make the products healthier. General Mills and Kellogg, have both announced they would do so this year. For frozen pizza, 37% of consumers believed the same, and Nestle announced it would remove artificial flavorings from its own frozen pizza lines earlier this year as well.

Though one statistic stands out, with overall consumer trust relatively close — a 4% difference — between independent and established companies: "Even though 75% said they trust small, independent companies more on all-natural products, overall trust was higher for large, established companies (52%) than small, independent companies (48%)," Food Business News reported.

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Filed Under: Corporate