Key Factors to Successful Nutrition Marketing

Key Factors to Successful Nutrition Marketing

Key Factors to Successful Nutrition Marketing

Have you ever wondered what is takes to build a successful nutrition related marketing campaign? Why do some products make it big while others flounder or drift into oblivion? After analysing the performance of 27 successful food marketing cases, Jessica Aschemann-Witzell and colleagues came up with the following six factors, they believe were critical in their success:


  • Supported by data and knowledge of consumer trends and/or science to understand the consumer problem or need and be able to establish a strong point of difference.
  • Communicated the why and how through simple, clear and actionable messages.
  • Created an emotional connection with the consumer.
  • Established credibility through endorsement.
  • Developed a sense of community.
  • Used a range of relevant media to reach the target audience.


With these in mind we have compared the activities of two brands we are familiar with. One that has done exceptionally well in recent years, a2 Milk, and another, Vital Vegetables® , which although present, has been fairly lack lustre in comparison.


a2 Milk

  • A premium range of milk sold in Australia.
  • Devoid of the a1-beta-casein protein, there is growing evidence that a1-beta casein can be a problem for some people particularly in relation to gut health, a problem that can be quite debilitating.
  • The range offers a very different proposition to regular cow’s milk that is highly valued by its target market.


Key factors in a2 Milk’s success

  • Knowledge of consumer insights and their understanding of the science has enabled a2 Milk to identify and resolve an important issue for some people. This provides a clear point of difference from standard milk.
  • Despite the product having a strong scientific basis, a2 milk clearly articulates why and how the product works. In simple terms the protein composition differs to that of regular cow’s milk, which makes it easier for some people to digest it. The proof however is in the pudding.
  • The greatest strength that this product has, is that consumers can actually feel if it works or not. They can validate the product themselves without solely relying on the word of the company. Satisfied consumers then endorse the product, enticing others to trial it. This helps build a sense of community.
  • The fact the product can impact people’s lives which very easily creates a strong emotional connection.
  • Their investment in scientific research (further data and knowledge) has allowed them to understand their product’s health effects and substantiate their marketing proposition. In developing a robust platform of nutrition science, a2 Milk is able to engage with health professionals like dietitians and doctors, who in turn have evidence of the product’s efficacy.


Vital Vegetables®

  • A range of premium, ready-to-eat vegetable and salad mixes sold in New Zealand and Australia.
  • Is attractively packaged, and positioned to support either immune function, eye sight, bone health or heart health.
  • The main difference from regular vegetable and salad mixes are the higher levels of vitamin C with one serve providing 25% of the recommended daily requirement for vitamin C.


Some of the missing elements

  • The why and how. It is not clear what consumer problem each product is attempting to solve, or why this is important. Vitamin C isn’t typically lacking in the diet, and other foods, like kiwifruit and oranges, are more likely to be associated with vitamin C.
  • Little knowledge of consumer need or what would help them. It’s unlikely that the various health benefits offered, supporting immune function, eyesight, bone health and heart health, are that compelling and even if they are, that people will believe these products are that much better than regular salad mixes.
  • There seems to be no attempt to build an emotional connection with the consumer. The focus is solely on the range’s functional attributes rather than the value these bring to people’s lives.


We often hear that consumers are increasingly demanding foods to support their health goals and are willing to pay a premium for good nutrition. To tap into this, food companies should consider integrating many of the six elements into their nutrition marketing campaigns.


Reference: Aschemann-Witzel et al (2011). Key Success Factors in health-related food marketing: a case study approach. Presented at the EAAE 2011 Congress Change and Uncertainty, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland