Its no secret that health foods have become increasingly popular in the past twenty years. Consumers who were once content using big household brand names are now hyper-aware of things like GMOs, artificial ingredients, and preservatives. Health brands that don’t sacrifice ingredient quality for mass production or price the way larger brands do, have therefore been on the uptick.
According to Forbes contributor Candida Brush, in 1990 organic foods and beverages reported $1 billion in sales, while in 2013 they came in with $26 billion. In the 80’s and 90’s, health food brands were more a rare commodity, but today, they are commonplace. In fact, there are entire retailers committed to only selling health brands. With the growing consumer skepticism of ingredients used by big brands, health brands are in greater demand than ever, but they also face a very competitive market. How can your health brand stand out? There are two big areas that your business can optimize to stick out from the competition: in story and in-store.
Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Company, has stated, "we understand that increasing numbers of consumers are seeking authentic, genuine food experiences and we know that they are skeptical of the ability of large, long-established food companies to deliver them." Yet, these big brands won’t be so fast to give up. Many have taken to changing ingredients, rebranding, or acquiring small health brands. To this end, there are a lot of brands that can now boast buzzwords such as green, sustainable, organic etc. Brush notes that nearly anyone could start a health brand with only five things: a brand name, a local source, a website, location, and Paypal account. However, most will be unsuccessful.
In order to stand out and make waves, your brand needs to highlight its status as a health brand, but really play up what makes it different. One way to do this is by telling a story. For example, Barnana is a potassium-rich super snack that is organic, without GMOs, and gluten free. Yes, they promote these things, but there is much more to their brand. The back of the package and the website tell the story of how the product began as a family tradition in Brazil. Their social accounts, especially Instagram, show people all over the world hiking, running, cycling, etc. demonstrating the energizing effect of the product, while simultaneously promoting an adventurous spirit. These aspects of the brand make it stand out among other health competitors as more than just a healthy snack, but a culture.
Once your brand stands out from other health brands at its core message, make sure it also stands out in the store! Being able to find a product is necessary to its success. Point of purchase displays and ads can be quite effective in getting consumers to pause and notice your brand amidst the other health brands. People are impulsive shoppers, so if your product presents itself prominently in store, consumers may choose to try it out then and there.
Take advantage of your brand culture and social media within your signage and packaging. If your brand promotes being active, for example, your packaging may encourage buyers to submit a photo of them getting out and being active in exchange for a deal or to “join the movement.” This will make your brand stick out to your ideal user, i.e. those who are very active, engage them with your social platform, and make them feel they are participating in a cause they find important/ worthwhile. In addition to displays, in-store promotions can generate a lot of interest among consumers. Offering samples of your product to people while they are shopping will make them more likely to buy your product over a competitors, because they can try it before purchasing. This can similarly make other products that your brand offers more popular among those shoppers by association.
Health brands have an advantage today, in that consumers are quite health-conscious and are looking for brands that offer high nutrition. However, with a market that has become saturated in superfoods, a brand needs more than to just be organic. Differentiate yourself through your story and the culture you promote. Then, differentiate yourself in-store with displays and promotions that will put you in the front of consumers minds when they are looking for a healthy alternative. At that, you’re on your way being a leader in the industry. For more methods on how to make your health brand shine, check out these health brand best practices.
Amanda McGuinness is a Content Marketing Journalist at Repsly. A social media expert and avid writer, she believes in creating fresh, creative content to build brand awareness.