Communication is key in health messaging, says Datamonitor

Marketers should adopt a stealth approach when promoting healthier formulations, according to Datamonitor.

Responding to calls from manufacturers and health experts for food firms to take greater responsibility for creating healthier offerings at a recent Australian FoodLegal Symposium, Katrina Diamonon, consumer markets analyst, said: “While there can be no doubt that manufacturers should strive to improve their formulations, the way in which these improvements are communicated can significantly influence how consumers respond to them.”

Unilever, for instance, has made significant strides in cutting out salt and trans fat from its products; however, its efforts have been accompanied by very little fanfare, said Diamonon.

According to Datamonitor, the strategy is an astute one, given the perceived lack of flavour of low-salt products, and inherent skepticism of corporations’ product claims.

Diamonon said it is not always necessary to promote reformulation efforts with extensive marketing and publicity, as consumers are already interested in nutrition information and will almost certainly discover the changes themselves. Today, a stealthy approach may indeed be one of the most effective ways to communicate health.