Understanding the Canadian Natural Health Consumer
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Words are powerful, and finding out what words consumers use to describe natural and organic products is one of the insights provided by Canadian marketing guru Ryan Benn on Thursday.
Benn, who is the publisher at Alive publishing group, spoke at the education day that preceded today’s opening of the show floor at the Healthy & Natural Show on Chicago’s Navy Pier. He shared some of the insights his company has gained doing consumer research into the view of Canadian natural products consumers.
One of the facets of the research was to try to drill down to how consumers of natural products and their role in health & wellness view those products via what kind of verbiage they favor. The data was gleaned from interactions with more than 1.200 consumers, Benn said.
“If you want to take a picture of one slide, take a picture of this one,” Benn said. “This is the one that cost $50,000.
The most prevalent terms consumers used to describe the products were words or phrases such as “Important, strong/strength, natural and organic.” Among the less prevalent words used in the survey were words such as “exercise, good diet, eating right, and weight.” The research is potentially valuable because marketers can use the exact words that motivate their customers in their messaging to them, Benn said.
As for the difference between the US and Canadian markets, Benn said that the consumers themselves are not very different; what motivates a Canadian to buy a natural or healthy product is pretty much the same to what motivates an equivalent American consumer. But the markets themselves are different.
“The difference is in Canada, with a population of 33 million, we’ve still got a big middle class. There are about two fifths of Canadians who can afford to buy these products. But in the US, with a population ten times our size, you don’t have much of a middle class anymore. Only about 15% of Americans can afford these products, so the overall size of the market for our products is only about four times bigger here,” he said.