Marketers can spend a fortune on research when they are trying to uncover what health minded consumers will want next, or perhaps just take a quick trip to a city that’s always a few steps ahead.
For example: Portland, Oregon. Simply taking a walk in this trend zone might make research more robust and more exciting than merely looking at the latest statistics. Healthy food marketing research just became more fun.
Portland takes their coffee really seriously (so not the place for those in a hurry!), and they know that high quality coffee is what consumers want. Portland’s finest coffee shops are all about giving you the very best…whether that’s locally sourced beans from places like Stumptown Coffee or globally sourced beans from places like Coava Coffee, who boasts of “travel[ing] the world in pursuit of coffees with the highest quality, complexity and balance.” What every coffeehouse in Portland has in common is a real passion for coffee, from the tradition to the incredibly precise process that gives each place character and authenticity. This level of devotion and commitment to the love of coffee is definitely making its way around the country. Healthy food marketing better pay attention.
Half and half vs. Low fat milk alternatives
Another fascinating trend that’s actually happening in these coffee shops is half and half as the only dairy milk option. It’s definitely more delicious and adds to the richness of coffee. And perhaps the recent findings contradicting the benefits of skim and low-fat milk are showing up here. When it comes to weight gain, (the reason skim was even an option) some researchers argue that nonfat milk actually puts you at a higher risk of obesity. Plus fat in some things like half and half provides more nutrients (as long as it’s consumed in small qualities). Interesting information for brands that advertise nonfat dairy.
Juice bars are starting to pop up everywhere, but they’ve been part of the Portland landscape for quite some time. Here, they aren’t just making your standard green or fruit juices. You’ll find all kinds of interesting concoctions with ingredients like jalapenos and blue algae. They know that consumers are demanding more health and energy in their food and juice so they are already beyond juice for purposes of weight loss only. So, thinking about the benefits that go beyond calorie counting and weight loss like energy, vitamins and minerals will definitely help connect with health-conscious consumers.
Even ice cream is going fresh, organic and high quality in Portland, especially at places like Salt & Straw. When healthy people are going to indulge, we know they will only do it with the very highest quality stuff. So if you’re an ice cream or indulgence brand wanting to market to a broader outreach of healthy food consumers, think local, think homemade, think different, think fresh.
Consumers are expecting more and more of their food everyday, and Portland is one already all over this growing trend. And there are lots of other trend-setting cities that are just waiting to give marketers clues. Austin, San Francisco, Williamsburg, Seattle and Denver are just a few examples of places that are setting the stage for what’s to come. So, you could study what’s happening on a bar graph or you could act like a millennial and go immerse yourself. The next thing could be right around the corner. Keep up with healthy food marketing trends right here.