HFCS-Free: It's Not on Your Customers' Shopping List.
Whether it’s a quick stop for milk and bread or the weekly shopping trip for a growing family, every sale counts in grocery retailing. Rising food prices and shrinking consumer budgets are forcing grocers to run on ever-thinner profit margins. In such a business environment, knowing what matters most to customers is more than a competitive insight. It’s a matter of survival.
So what do shoppers really think of HFCS? Here’s what outside consumer research shows:
Among consumers, HFCS is not the concern—it’s total sugars.
In October 2012, Mintel Research Consultancy, a global provider of market intelligence, surveyed 2,400 primary household grocery shoppers about their attitudes toward sweeteners and HFCS. The survey included purchasing considerations for 12 high-volume food and beverage categories such as bread, yogurt and cold cereals. Key findings revealed:
In any given category, no more than 3% of consumers specifically avoid HFCS.
Fewer than 5% of consumers check labels for HFCS.
Nearly 80% of consumers are concerned about total sugars, not a specific type.
Shoppers aren’t buying HFCS-free products.
As part of a comprehensive review of retail products and the performance of their different sweetener formulation strategies, Nielsen data has been collected on an ongoing basis since 2010. The shopper data comes from all outlets combined, including Walmart, and covers the sales of 25 leading brands across more than 3,200 SKUs in beverages, baked goods and prepared foods.
What the receipts show is conclusive: Regardless of market strategy, brands that switch to HFCS-free formulations have continually seen flat or falling marketing share.
Get the most from your shelf space.
For you and your customers, every penny counts. So why give up valuable shelf space to products that won’t even make it to checkout? HFCS costs less than sugar. It’s nutritionally equivalent to sugar.1 And when it comes to helping you meet the margins and product turnover your business demands, it has no substitute.
1. American Medical Association, June 2008; Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, May 2012; Center for Science in the Public Interest, March 2010.