Health vs. indulgence: Are some companies getting it wrong?

by Keith Nunes
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LONDON – A survey of 100 executives working in the consumer packaged goods sector said the consumer’s desire for a healthier option will be greater than the desire for an indulgent treat in the next three years, according to Canadean. But the market research firm’s data says otherwise, with consumer demand for indulgence much greater than health.

In 2012, for example, consumers spent approximately $600 million on fulfilling the desire for indulgence and luxury vs. $323 million for a healthier option, according to Canadean.

“Some brands are getting it wrong with their perception of what consumers will want over the next three years,” said Joanne Hardman, an analyst for Canadean. “The desire for an indulgent treat will always reign supreme over the need for a health kick.”

Canadean predicts consumers will continue to favor indulgence over anything else during the next three years. Owing to economic uncertainty and the pressures from everyday life, consumers still will look to treat themselves to premium and luxury items as a reward and coping mechanism.

“If manufacturers are looking to target the health-conscious audience more over the next three years, extending product portfolios as opposed to adjusting current product formulation will be preferred by consumers, as it allows them to stay loyal to the brand when they are looking for both indulgent and healthy offerings,” Hardman said.
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