“Professional athletes in general are endorsing a lot of unhealthy foods, which is concerning for a country that’s struggling with obesity,” says lead author Marie Bragg, a health policy researcher at Yale University. These athletes “could do a lot of good to promote public health, but unfortunately they are promoting foods that are really unhealthy,” she says. Researchers tracked endorsements by the top 100 athletes as identified by Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2010 Power 100 rankings. It ranks athletes according to their endorsement value and prominence in their sport. Of 513 brands endorsed by the top 100 athletes: – 24% were in the food and beverage category, second to the sporting goods or apparel category, which accounted for 28% of endorsed brands. – 79% of 62 food products endorsed were high-calorie and poor in nutrients. – 93% of 46 advertised drinks got 100% of calories from added sugar. Sports beverages represented the largest category of endorsements (39), followed by soft drinks (21) and fast food (16). The study focused solely on 2010 data and does not address how the athletes’ endorsements may have changed since then. It was designed “as an exploratory study of what the landscape looks like,” says Bragg. NBA star James had the most food and beverage endorsements, including Sprite, McDonald’s and Powerade. Manning was second, with endorsements including Gatorade and Pepsi-Cola. Williams was third, with Kraft Oreo, Gatorade, Nabisco 100 Calorie Pack Snacks and Got Milk. A score was generated for each athlete based on his or her Power 100 ranking, the number of ads and food endorsements, the highest percentage of food endorsements compared with other endorsements, and the healthfulness of each food and beverage endorsed. Where 1 is the worst possible score and 100 the best, Manning topped that list at 28.9, followed by Williams (32.4) and James (42.7).
Food price increase? Most Singaporeans say they can absorb it
“The Food e-Vangelists are the single most important group in the food industry today, but they don’t fit typical marketing demographics,” Eatherton said. “They are hiding in plain sight yet food companies are allocating budgets on marketing programs that don’t reach them. This group will change the food industry forever, but at the moment they represent a hugely missed opportunity.” Eatherton continued, “In our research we looked at consumers whom we identified as Food Involved a psychographic profile of consumers that care deeply about food, where it comes from and the processes used in production and manufacturing. However, we uncovered a consumer segment inside this group that was somewhat different, a uniquely powerful subset with very different drivers and expectations from the Food Involved.” Food e-Vangelists listen to everyone, trust no one, and take action Food e-Vangelists are action-oriented; they take it upon themselves to learn about the issues and to influence others by sharing their findings. In fact, more than two-thirds of Food e-Vangelists say they would conduct online research to better inform their opinions if they saw a news story about a banned food item. “Food companies have an opportunity to be open and transparent and provide easily accessible information that can help Food e-Vangelists educate themselves and others about important food issues,” said Eatherton. “Ketchum has created a suite of services to help companies understand how commodities and food brands can best identify, engage and activate this consumer.” Food e-Vangelists are shaping the conversation about food and brands More than one-third of Food e-Vangelists regularly take the time to recommend and critique food brands and products and share their opinions with others both online and offline. Recommend or critique a food product 44% “While the Food Involved group is active at seeking and gathering information about food, Food e-Vangelists believe it is their right and their responsibility to influence the beliefs of others and change behaviors,” said Eatherton. “We have seen anecdotally and in qualitative research that Food e-Vangelists actually track their success in this area and feel rewarded or incentivized by the number of people they have reached.” For this influential segment of the population, fresh reigns supreme Two-thirds of Food e-Vangelists say they have increased fresh food purchases compared to the previous year. And nearly as many (59%) are also consciously purchasing less packaged and prepared foods. “There are many implications in this data set for packaged food companies, and we are working with many to mine for the insights that impact companies’ reputation and brand share,” Eatherton said. Earning the trust of a Food e-Vangelist: Health + Transparency + Cause Health, transparency and cause (making food more accessible to families in need) are among the top qualities that make Food e-Vangelists more likely to advocate for a food company or brand, purchase more from a food company or brand, or pay more for a food company’s products: Health More than half of Food e-Vangelists (54%) would like to see food companies prioritize making healthy foods more available in the future. Transparency More than half of Food e-Vangelists (54%) want ingredient information about a product (including source, processing, production techniques, farm or supplier name, etc.) on product labels.
Most Singaporeans say they can absorb it The Straits Times Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 SINGAPORE – Consumers in Singapore are relatively unfazed by the thought of food prices heading north, with 69 per cent indicating there is enough flexibility in their household budget to absorb a rise in food prices, according to a new Nielsen report. Get the full story from The Straits Times . Here is the press release from Nielsen: Consumers in Singapore are relatively unconcerned by looming food inflation, with the majority (69 per cent) indicating there is enough flexibility in their household budget to absorb a rise in food prices without having to make significant sacrifices to their spending in other areas according to a report released today by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. In other countries in Southeast Asia, the majority of consumers said there was enough flexibility in their household budget to handle a rise in food prices without having to make major spending cuts elsewhere, with more than three quarters (78 per cent) of Thai consumers leading, followed by Indonesia (70 per cent), Vietnam (70 per cent), Malaysia (66 per cent) and the Philippines (58 per cent). All Southeast Asian markets score well above the global average of 50 per cent. Nielsen’s Global Survey of Inflation Impact polled more than 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries to understand how respondents around the world of all income ranges were coping with rising food prices. The study identified the countries, categories and retail channels that were more insulated to weather hard economic times and those which were more vulnerable. While the majority of Singaporean consumers were unlikely to make significant spending cuts to cope with rising food prices, many indicated they would look to adjust their outlay on out-of-home dining (72 per cent), new clothes and accessories (59 per cent), snack foods (49 per cent) and recreation and entertainment (45 per cent) to off-set food inflation, which are the top 4 areas where the other countries in Southeast Asia would cut back on as well. Food categories which were most vulnerable during inflationary times included discretionary products such as candies, cookies and other sweets, chips and other snack foods, carbonated beverages and alcoholic beverages, while staple products such as meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables and dairy products appeared largely immune to consumer cutbacks in the face of rising food prices. Buying items while on sale, stocking up on regular items and buying larger pack sizes were the three key actions consumers said they would take to deal with food inflation. “As income levels steadily increase throughout the region, many Southeast Asian consumers appear to be taking the rising cost of living in their stride,” said Matthew Krepsik, Executive Director of Nielsen’s Marketing Effectiveness Practice in Southeast Asia, North Asia and Pacific. “In order to appeal to a broad range of consumer classes it will be increasingly important for FMCG companies to understand the diversity of consumer demand across the region to accurately gauge purchasing power and the scale of goods and services required to meet the needs of consumers in both developed and developing Southeast Asian markets.” “If consumers are required to make trade-offs to extend their food budget, they will shift to core staples, pay more attention to promotions and special offers and look to cut back their spending on non-essential, indulgent and processed foods.” When asked about how rising food prices may influence where they purchase grocery items, shopping more often at discount stores was the most likely change cited by almost half (48 per cent) of consumers in Singapore, which is much higher than the global average of 33 per cent. Malaysia (37 per cent) Philippines (36 per cent) and Indonesia (35 per cent) also indicated they would shop more at discount stores, while in Thailand and Vietnam consumers indicated they would be most likely to grow their own food. Consumers across Southeast Asia also indicated a strong likelihood to shop more at de-stocking and clearance stores and warehouse club stores. During times of rising food prices, consumers across all six Southeast Asia market said they were most likely to respond by stocking up on regular use items when they are on sale and purchasing only sale-priced items, with the exception of Vietnam where using social media to find specials was the most likely change consumers would make to cope with the increasing price of food.