As marketers, in the most basic sense of the term, we’re tasked with meeting consumer demand with the supply of a particular product or service. But we know our roles are so much more than that. With the influx of digital technologies that give us the capability to capture more and more data than we ever could have imagined, it seems that our jobs in healthy food marketing are becoming more and more difficult.

This feels especially true when segmenting consumers into strategic targets. While digital media has afforded us the capability to target consumers 1 on 1, we know we cannot create strategy that way. So when it comes to the healthy consumer, how simply can we segment while keeping our targets tight and actionable? A few thoughts:

Through years of research and tons of experience marketing healthy food to families, I have identified four key segments that I would pursue when marketing an array of healthy food products. In a way, this is a scale from least health-conscious to self-motivated health and wellness to life-dependent health consciousness.  If you’re in healthy food marketing, read on.

Flavor-Driven Fledgling

  • Motivations and Triggers: Making the most of what ingredients and time she has
  • Exercise: When possible
  • Attitudes and Behaviors: Shopping on a budget shouldn’t mean sacrificing flavor. Turn to inexpensive and convenient flavor solutions for dressing up cheaper cuts of meat and making everyday meals more exciting. Overall, they try to make the “less bad” choice whenever possible.
  • Barriers to the next level: Balancing cost, convenience and flavor

Motivated Moderate

  • Motivations and Triggers: Feeling and looking good, especially after starting a family. Teaching the family healthy habits.
  • Exercise: Every other day or so for weight maintenance and stress relief
  • Attitudes and Behaviors: Delicious and healthy is the end goal, within the framework of familiar foods the family already enjoys. Preference for colorful balanced meals that are nourishing, yet indulgent.
  • Barriers to the next level: Balancing flavor and health with less emphasis on cost (although going all organic and all-natural is still cost prohibitive).

Devoted Well-Doer

  • Motivations and Triggers: Living longer, sharing healthy habits with children and social responsibility
  • Exercise: 100% integrated into lifestyle. Long-term, not needs-based.
  • Attitudes and Behaviors: Food is a means of feeling nourished in mind, body and soul. Preference for simple, authentic and sustainably sourced foods, made with integrity and pure ingredients that inspire.
  • Barriers to the next level: None as these consumers are at forefront of health and wellness, however they still strive to do better than the day before.

Restricted Reactive

  • Motivations and Triggers: Better health/minimize symptoms and live longer
  • Exercise: To the extent of doctor’s orders or ability
  • Attitudes and Behaviors: Looking for healthier options that only require subtle changes in diet
  • Barriers to the next level: Limited healthy knowledge beyond doctor’s orders, lack of desire to sacrifice flavor for health.


Check out more insights on healthy food marketing on my twitter.