Presentation on theme: "HEALTHY MIDDLE YEARS: ZEST FOR LIFE CLAIRE NUTTALL 8 JULY 2009."— Presentation transcript:
HEALTHY MIDDLE YEARS: ZEST FOR LIFE CLAIRE NUTTALL 8 JULY 2009
HEALTHY MIDDLE YEARS: ZEST FOR LIFE CLAIRE NUTTALL 8 JULY 2009 01 - About us 02 -Who we talked to 03 - A snapshot of healthy middle years The 40 somethings and the over 50s The burning issues The ways to touch their hearts
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Our sample A broad cross section - all to have a ‘healthier lifestyle’ on their agenda - whether acting on it or not! Coverage from urban London to north and south home counties 8 two hour focus groups - half male, half female; split: –One group of 45-54 and one group of 55-64 males recruited for: –claimed ‘active health self management’ behaviours (positive response to 3 or more criteria and attitudinal statements) –One group of 45-54 and one group of 55-64 males recruited for: –claimed ‘activities to promote a healthier lifestyle’ where family/peers/spouse is major initiator of these activities (positive response to a 3 or more criteria and attitudinal statements) –One group of 45-54 and one group of 45-54 females recruited for: –claimed ‘proactive activities and efforts to promote a healthier lifestyle’ (positive response to 3 or more criteria and attitudinal statements) –claimed ‘changing lifestyle/behaviours in response to need to improve health’ (positive response to 3 or more criteria and attitudinal statements) Supplemented by 65 short quantitative online questionnaires to gauge main attitudes, split of ‘healthy middle year’ archetypes and key brands helping or failing consumers A toe dip portrait of a generation in transition
More than body - it’s in the mind Healthy living is as much about wellbeing in the mind as well as body: what you eat, what you do and feeling stress-free –Which means enjoying food, having treats and sometimes eating for comfort as well as for fuel Temptation is everywhere - they don’t lack knowledge about what they should do, but balance is all –Comforting healthy choices often inherited from childhood –The younger often believe their parents ate more healthily –A move away from ‘engineered’ diets and exercise programmes to ‘common sense’ Many behaviours are now ingrained and mantras (5 a day etc) in place, but a riding sense of cynicism around ‘engineered’ or overcomplicated healthiness We know what we should do - don’t overload or bamboozle us
“Definitely no stress - stress is cancerous” (Female, 46) “It’s about fresh air and good food and a healthy work life balance” (Male, 46) “Healthy living is about exercise and fresh fruit and veg - not feeling stressed.” (Female, 45) “My Mum is 82 and still incredibly slim and active. I think they ate better in her day. Less temptation.” (Female, 45) “Hot porridge with honey. My father ate it and my grandfather. It’s delicious and incredibly good for you.” (Male, 58) “Natural. Good, healthy food - the more it’s tinkered with, the more I think it’s just a short term fix” (Male, 62)
“Gone are the days of lycra and aerobic workouts and those little yellow calorie counter books - it’s about steady, sensible eating and exercise - everything in moderation!” (Woman 54) “I buy this digestive health thing and low GI seems to make sense too - but it also seems to point to what used to be fresh, ‘live’ foods - processing knocks the goodies out” ( Woman 62) “Fibre, low saturated fats, reduced sugars and lots of fresh food as the basis of healthy living - I think of it more as good sense living!” ( Woman 48) “I think people are more clued up now about units in drinking and about caffeine and e numbers - most people who are half- way healthy will look out for that” (Man 46) “Five a day is a simple idea and now they have this grain thing - both make sense despite being a bit of clever advertising!” (Man 55) “Low fat, low salt, low processed, cut back on alcohol - not much fun but there’s more healthy tasty stuff now whereas health used to be rabbit food!” (Man 56)
A recognition that things ain’t what they used to be Increasingly recognise that they need to take more care: –Can’t shift the weight –Give a good example to the kids –Feeling the beginnings of the ‘creaks’ –Need to look out for significant others - keep healthy for each other’s sake –Need to counteract earlier more careless, carefree years But more about making the most of life, having energy to enjoy it with family and friends than consciously holding back time Experienced and in control in the rest of their life, they can be irritated about being subjected to endless healthy living guilt trips We want to get the most out of life - help us to make it happen, don’t preach to us!
The big motivator for good health is impact on others, not vanity They want to be busy, be active, have fun They want to look good But in relative terms, older or younger, the impact on close friends and family is what drives ‘better’ attitudes to healthy living –Giving a good grounding to teenage kids –Not causing anxiety –But most of all, being able to make the most of life with them A better life with others is what makes a bit of denial worthwhile
“I am very conscious that I’m 43 and I’ve got a 5 month old baby and I’d like to be running around when she’s a teenager.” (Male,43) “I’m still chasing my dreams and I don’t want to be held back.” (Female, 46) “I try to give a good idea to my boys of what they should be doing when they’re older.” (Female, 45) “My main concern is trying to covertly keep my husband in train - I want him to be in good shape to enjoy a retirement we’ve worked hard to enjoy” (Female, 55) “There are many pressures on women our age. We’re at places in our career that puts pressure on, we maintain our families and we have increasingly needy parents.” (Female, 54) “There’s no such thing as a traditional Nana now - I’m expected to be hands on, fun, active - so keeping healthy is a priority for me - to be there for the kids” (Female, 59)
Time stressed apologist Good eating habits a low priority, but guilt- ridden when brought front of mind. Mid 40s. The attitudes The issues that concern them are common But differ in: The way they deal with it –Supplements v. food as medicine –Focus on specifics v. focus on everything (or nothing!) –Mental offsetting of indulgences with better habits Conscientious over- compensator Disciplined about eating well and exercising to make up for previous unhealthy lifestyle. May over- compensate. 50+ Issue focuser Aware of a specific family health problem and makes this the focus of attention. Natural manager Concerned with the organic and holistic; food to prevent disease as well as fuel Issue overloader Conscious of so many issues that unable to focus on any one. Pragmatic balancer Knows what’s good and healthy and offsets indulgences against healthier habits.
Time stressed apologist Wants ‘unwrap and go’ options to offset the guilt; needs help with easy recipes What they need from brands In products: format and formulation In communication: information and labelling as well as advertising Conscientious over- compensator Wants hard core healthy choices to reverse impact of past behaviour Issue focuser Wants clear labelling, and better choice - doesn’t want to feel like a freak Natural manager Wants natural, additive and pesticide-free; nature’s remedies Issue overloader Help in all round feelgood factor Pragmatic balancer Tasty choices, clear communication and less complexity; easy inspiration.
The forty somethings A generation in transition Intro pic
The forty-somethings: health in transition The forty somethings are feeling the first fallout of metabolism slowing down Lives are still intense –First, and sometimes second, families –peak job responsibility –second chance education and studying They may be ‘settled’ with partners and families, but they’re not ‘comfortable’ They need to feel at their max, but often don’t Time to prepare and eat the right things personally or with the family is squeezed They sometimes feel overwhelmed by all that is involved in healthy eating But the effects are not quite enough to shake them into truly better ways –And both sexes blame their partners for leading them into temptation Aware of the issues, but impact of indulgence hasn’t quite to home to them
Men are for Mars… 40 something men are still clinging to the attitudes of their younger days –A general reluctance to acknowledge the need to actively manage their lifestyle –A belief that their body will act as internal regulator –A good humoured acknowledgement that the flesh is weak: Mars bars, crisps and treacle tart are part of the richness of life The metabolism hasn’t yet thrown enough at them to take healthy living too seriously Their view on health is around activity not intake - they did more sport when younger –So they can offset indulgence with just doing a bit more (even if they actually don’t) You can’t nag them into healthier ways
“Guilt is a women’s thing. I’m always on the go. Vitamins and exercise are what count, not how much you eat.” (Male, 47 ) “Basically your body just regulates itself. Sometimes you get to the point where you look in the fridge and it’s a piece of fruit that looks more attractive.” (Male, 46 ) “I’ve been through different phases of my life from being superfit to being a bit more relaxed about eating, but I’m making a conscious decision to have a healthy job.” (Male, 45 ) “It’s 6 in the morning and you’re on the way to a meeting. There’s a caravan by the road that does a cracking bacon butty. You’re going to go for it, aren’t you?” (Male, 46 ) “Sometimes I look at myself and with the amount of walking I do, I’m mystified that my waist isn’t smaller. But it doesn’t stay with me.” (Male, 45 ) “We both try and do the healthy thing but I think sometimes we’re each other’s worst enemy when it comes to treats or overindulgence” (Male 49)
Women are in conflict They’d still rather have a little of something really good, than more of something that’s a compromise But they feel a sense of responsibility to do the right thing for partner and kids With more or less guilt, they are balancing the easy health tricks –Wholesome cereal –Salads and fruit –The ‘magic little bottles’ And the necessary treats –Chocolate But often feeling on the wrong side of ‘right’ Responsibility and knowledge of what’s right nearer top of mind
“Salads - I do enjoy a big bowl of salad and that’s healthy. But it’s what you put on it, isn’t it? (Female, 47 ) “What really annoys me is that you know there’s so much out there that’s really, really good. If they took it all away, I’d live. But it’s there.” (Female, 45 ) “I plan out the meals for the week to make sure the kids get the right things. But Monday is Toblerone day” (Female, 47 ) “I try to do health from healthy basic ingredients but I supplement with some ‘cheat’ products - reinforced with omegas, Benecols, etc. I do feel like I’m short cutting though” (Female, 46) “I do go for microwave meals. It’s the only way we sit down together. By the time I’ve cooked a meal, it’s starting to get late for them. So I go for the organic and frozen - it’s the best you can get under the circumstances.” (Female, 45) “It sometimes feels like being properly healthy and getting it right is a full time job - like you can only get there if you can throw time and money at it. The Madonna lifestyle - but that’s for the lucky few” ( Female, 47)
The burning ‘healthy middle years’ issues Intro pic
Issues: what do you think about when buying food
Three issues dominate in the forties Weight –Most are trying to cut out the snacks, but time still against them Energy –They need a boost to make up for the body starting to slow down –Some acknowledgment of TATT (Tired All The Time syndrome) and a constant battle Managing stress –They need an instant fix to feel better They want to remain in the fast lane and on top of their game, working or not….
“I’m always getting colds. I’m so overweight and I’m sure I’ve got a slow metabolism - naturally. Sometimes I feel so far down, I can’t even think about it.” (Female, 45) “It gets to a certain part of the day, I’m on the move and I just need the sugar rush. I know that if I cut out the snacks I lose weight quite quickly, but that’s just not possible.” (Male, 46) “I’d like to be slimmer, but I get home, I’ve had a tough day at work and I’ve got more to do. Do I really want to cut all that stuff up ? No, so it’s cereal. If someone made me a salad, I’d eat it. But prepared ones are so expensive.” (Female, 47) “It’ weird that given diet fizzy drinks are palatable that other healthier snacks haven’t caught up - snacks are about pleasure - so why bother snacking on something healthy yet flavourless?” (Male, 47) “It’s the battle against wanting to do lots and yet feeling tired so much of the time. Even if I have a decent enough night - energy drinks are just sugar and caffeine” ( Female 46) “I’d welcome some food or drinks that could help to boost my metabolism - however much I cut back, I still seem to gain weight” ( Female, 49)
Brands are not addressing their top issues For most, addressing their issues means exercise and the fruit and veg aisle Outside weight management, they see few credible solutions to their top issues of energy boosting and managing stress –Energy = sports drinks and bars –Stress = chocolate and comfort eating Potential ‘healthy’ choices are sometimes confusing – They are unsure about where to put foods like cereal bars and smoothies on their mental balancing checklist Seldom read labels and sometimes feel the good health message is pushed into their faces Few name brands they regularly use as solutions
“They pump those energy bars full of a lot of stupid things.” (Female, 47) “I like Eat Natural, but you have to be careful because they’re full of fats and sugar.” (Female, 45) “Energy drinks and energy bars - frankly, I don’t see the difference from having a Mars bar and it’s a lot more satisfying.” (Female, 45) “This is the age when people really want some help but there’s so little beyond multivits that I know will work, and fast - I want to see it works not just hope it will” (Female, 46) “I sometimes get irritated by all that ‘one of your 5 a day’ thing - it makes out like it’s all childs’ play and that’s all you need to do!.” (Male, 45) “There’s so much jargon and it shifts by the month - diets, superfoods, bacteria - smoothies are good, then they’re bad, it’s all contradiction and can’t split the bull from the good” (Male, 48)
But the clear and the trusted are getting cut through The trusted, wholesome brands e.g. Heinz, Hovis –Will taste better and be better for you The cereal brands with a consistent, focused long-term health message –Shreddies, Special K, Oatibix and Weetabix The high visibility ‘little bottle’ magic –Actimel The heart-health spreads –Flora, Bertolli’s They may not always know exactly what the benefits are: but they believe they’re ‘healthy’ High visibility, straightforward products and clear strong messages
“Actimel - I always have some in the fridge. You feel it’s just generally going to pep you up ” (Female,46) “Muller Light - Slimming World says they’re sin free. That’s the only reason. And brilliant frozen - they last longer.” (Female, 47) “Shredded Wheat - you’ve grown up with them. You know they’re good.” (Male, 47) “Hovis and good old fashioned wheat germ - real integrity, not messed about with - good for generations” (Male, 47 “The whole probiotic thing. It makes sense.” (Male,45) “Flora seems to be one of the only brands that hasn’t been panned - they seem to keep doing something new and they walk the walk too with their events” (Female, 49)
But those with specific health issues feel the brunt of denial They find little to make eating a pleasure, not a chore (especially outside London) –Wheat intolerance: –Patchy availability –Still low levels of eating pleasure, and a high price point to boot –High cholesterol –Often lo fat comes with high salt, or low flavour! The skimmed milk analogy applied to all food! –Meagre helpings a bugbear too –Lactose intolerance –Few pleasure brands - Alpro the only hero on the horizon They want to feel mainstream, not ‘special needs’ and mainstream distribution - they know they are not a rarity these days!
“My dad had a heart attack when he was 33 and we were all tested for high cholesterol. I spent a lot of time on a rigid diet and it used to drive me insane. I was miserable” (Male, 45) “There’s so much you read about how common intolerances are - but yet it doesn’t feel normalised, nor do there seem to be big brands in there - it’s crazy!” ( Female, 48) “I was diagnosed with wheat intolerance and you feel everything is for people with sandals and floral skirts. When you find something that doesn’t taste like cardboard, when you look for it again, it’s gone” (Female, 47) “There are big old brands out there who claim to care about health in general so I don’t understand why one doesn’t try to cover the broader needs - it feels like supermarkets get closest, but not enough” (Male, 48) “The market isn’t just for people who are intolerant, I know people who eat ‘free from’ style products for proactive health - yet the products are like they know you’ve been forced to buy them, with no choice” (Female, 46) “Benecol’s done the only good, mainstream job at a special diet product - the others feel like you’re shoved down a weirdies aisle!” (Female, 46)
Time to get serious Motivation and attitudes remain constant –Desire to balance ‘a bit of what you fancy’ with healthier options –Wanting to keep healthier for friends and family Still active, but starting to regret not being smarter earlier Impetus to action is stronger and more likely to do the reading –Sharper focus on specific problems - joints, heart –Greater knowledge of what works for what –Genuinely looking at the labels for clues and cues –Much less disparity between women and men But no less convinced that a positive mental attitude is key More information seeking to address specific issues
“I do regret letting myself put on weight - life would have been better if I’d kept my fitness up. But I’ve made some changes and joined a gym” (Male, 57) “As life slips by, we realise we are not immortal. You can’t over-indulge now. ” (Male, 57) “I’m permanently on watch for what I’m eating - not actually on a diet, but eating differently from the household - especially on weekdays.” (Female, 55 ) “It may be that the health checks get more frequent at this age, but it feels like more things are suddenly going wrong since I turned 50!” (Female, 51) “Whereas my body used to bounce back now I feel it is all more of a delicate balancing act - I just can’t decide to let my hair down for a month - the effects stay for weeks!” (Female, 54) “I now view the healthy living piece as a real investment in time for the future, but there are few brands beyond supplements helping me out” (Female, 62)
Big pic Opportunities ripe for the picking by brands…. Where are the burning issues and unmet needs that brands could be meeting?
Targeting specific issues General good health still important, but now medicating –Joints, heart, sleep –Most happier to reduce dependency on medicines and augment treatment naturally/through diet Supplements play a much greater part in healthy living solutions –Revealing gaps still not filled by brands - all would like not to be pill popping ad nauseam Much more inclined to read the labels –Low fat and low salt a priority –Word of mouth powerful in influencing trial –Surfing for product reviews also prevalent Drawn to the organic which some feel has higher vitamin content –Although early signs of a ‘falling out of love’ with the organic sector - does it help? Is it a scam? Using diet as preventative and remedy
“I take glucosamine. My wife has arthritis so we take it together - but it's more pills.” (Male 57) “I take cod liver oil - I’ve been brainwashed about keeping joints supple and fighting off colds.” (Male 54) “I was so surprised about not getting quality sleep. Not being able to get back to sleep when you get up for the loo” (Female, 58) “I’m wary of brands that shove supplements into foods where they wouldn’t naturally occur -there was a time where Omega 3 was in everything - it’s not right” (Male, 48) “I’d pay a lot to have help with my sleep without resorting to pills. Things like wheat and milk are supposed to be good, but beyond Horlicks, I don’t see many brands trying to help. It’s like nothing’s moved on!” (Female, 47) “I constantly look at back of pack. I am an avid label reader - there’s so much hidden in the verbiage that can be bad for you or aggravating to a condition” (Female, 55)
Issues: what do you think about when buying food
More likely to find brands that help They are looking harder to find brands that address their issues The ‘fruit and veg aisle’ is no longer enough –Vitamins and supplements e.g. Seven Seas Dairy: Yeo Valley, Muller Cereals: Kelloggs, Oatibix, Dorset More concerned, more prepared to be informed, more open
But irritated by the quality of the communication But because they’re looking harder and seeking information actively, more likely to be irritated by communications Resistant to too much complexity and the over promise Feel that much communication credits them with little intelligence And some is objectionable or just ‘naff’ Be straightforward, but not banal
“I feel that health advertising nowadays is vulgar and has really degenerated - more like the banal stuff we used to see when we lived in the States.” (Female, 57) “There are so many multi-claims that it gets incredible - superfoods were a great example of over-claiming ruining any chance of my believing in them” (Male, 52) “A number of the healthy ads around are so naff. Give us the facts with a little bit of humour. Actimel - like the brands, but the adverts are naff. Grant us with some intelligence.” (Female, 55) “Ultimately, there’s no substitute for trial - I won’t really be tempted by a brand unless I have tested it myself or at best if it’s worked for a mate. Claims switch me off” (Male 55) “There’s been some good phrases coined like ‘digestive health’ or ‘digestive transit’ - it says what it is and explains the science credibly” (Female, 53) “Pictures of oldies cavorting around just get my goat - it’s like the middle aged equivalent of sanitary towel ads - total overclaim” (Female 53)
Big pic What are the big win wins for brands to be tapping into?
Energy Sustained, not peaks Formats beyond drinks and bars Fit with family eating and meals not snacks Abundant ‘healthy’ choice for brands Rich pickings but approach with care Supplements are doing a good job in several areas, so the need to deliver true food values is critical Not targeting by age, but by need - making things out to be a ‘middle years’ thing is a no no Think meals not snacks - the goal is controlling intake, not supplementing it: most ‘healthy’ additions beyond 5 a day etc. are snacks which pile on calories Help them personalise the choices and ingredients in a way that appeals to their taste Don’t wrap health up in unnecessary calories and baddies Talk straight and clear and remember enjoyment should come first Weight management Taste and satiety Fit with family, not making an exile Real metabolism boosting Moods and stress Healthy equivalent of comfort eating Managing stress related sugar lows Breaking the abusive vicious cycle of bad stress eating Menopause Beyond supplements and freak food Palatable Bone density Good mood food, but without the gimmicks Special needs Better brands - majority not marginal offer Product and presentation Branded as a normal healthy choice, not a reactive, allergic choice Concentration and memory Omegas in the right place, and tasty Alertness without the caffeine loading
Get ‘em while they’re young(ish) Target untapped issues around energy and stress among the 40--somethings –They are looking for food solutions beyond sports –Their ideal is a boost for life - to keep going The 40-something male is a prime unreached target –The days when the wives sorted out the food are gone - these are shoppers worth winning –But you need to make it tempting Address their big issues
Keep it simple, stupid They want clean, simple straightforward –They are being hit by too much, too often, on too many fronts –The scientific editorial approach may have served well in the past, but is in danger of burnout While they are concerned about many issues, the leaders have learnt –A single message, repeated often has more credibility –And it also has a halo beyond the immediate issue Quick to absorb facts that tell a story
Recognise the context The prime motivator for ‘being good’ is the impact on relationships with those they love –They don’t want to be supermodels, they do want the attainable –They are still in the thick of life and want to go on being so They are often having ‘second lives’ - relationships, second families, study, career changes –Don’t present a picture of stolid middle age Be true to their life
Respect the taste Healthy living is about happy living not self denial They are focused on food, not snacks or supplements –Think additions to meals, seasoning, sauces and supplements to good food –Not just another separate product The tried and tested meal ideas and recipes are welcome Be saintly, but tempting
Try a little nostalgia They see indulgent temptations as a modern phenomenon They often think their parents ate healthier (though that may not be true) The call to a simpler life has an appeal Remind them of the healthy delights of their childhood
Don’t make those with specific issues feel like freaks If they have to compromise on the product –Make presentation attractive –Make communications clear and fun –Don’t over-medicalise Food is a key part of life - help them share
Embrace their good humour about life Getting into middle years doesn’t dim your sense of humour Health is serious, but it’s also about having a laugh with life –Acknowledge the weaknesses and the temptations –Don’t always be nagging in their face They still find an awful lot in life to laugh about - Get it right and they’ll laugh with you