Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

The Consumer Lab is the consumer insights and brand strategy group at Alcone Marketing Group, a consumer activation company.

The Overflowing American Dinner Plate

Metrics – The Overflowing American Dinner Plate –

The average American’s food consumption per week has jumped from 16.4 pounds in 1970 to 18.2 pounds in 2006. Americans also consume an additional extra quarter pound of fat every week over 1970, and dairy consumption has dropped.


Filed under: Consumer, diet, food, health, Obesity

Study: Two-thirds of Consumers Reading Labels More Often

Study: Two-thirds of Consumers Reading Labels More Often

A survey released today by the Nielsen Co. found that 65% of
American consumers say they notice information on food packaging
more often compared to only two years ago.

Sixty-seven percent of U.S. consumer claim to mostly understand
what they are reading compared to 44% globally. That leaves a third
of the U.S. and more than half the world wondering exactly what
Sodium Benzoate and other ingredients and metrics actually

Filed under: beverages, Consumer, CPG, diet, food, health

Health trend continues as obesity rates rise

Health trend continues as obesity rates rise

The number of Americans who are obese has increased by nearly two percent in two years and people need to cut down on high calorie foods and sugary drinks, according to a new report.

Food and beverage manufacturers are paying attention to rising obesity rates and are taking the time to introduce or reformulate health and wellness products. Kraft, for example, now has a range of products influenced by the South Beach Diet.

Filed under: beverages, Consumer, diet, food, health, Obesity

NPD Finds Fewer Americans Dieting But More Eating “Better for You” Foods

NPD’s National Eating Trends®
data finds that at least once in a two-week period, over 70 percent of
Americans are consuming reduced fat foods, and over half of them are
eating reduced calorie, whole grain or fortified foods.


NPD Finds Fewer Americans Dieting But More Eating “Better for You” Foods
Rosemont, Ill., June 16, 2008 – Eating “better for you” foods rather than dieting appears to be the weapon of choice against the battle of the bulge, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research firm. NPD reports that the percentage of adults on a diet has decreased by 10 percentage points since 1990, while the percentage of Americans eating healthier has increased.

Filed under: Consumer, diet, food, health

Loving Leftovers: Food Prices Change The Way Americans Eat

Everything seems to be getting more expensive these days. People are cutting back on driving to save on gas, people are eating out and shopping less. Another way the slowing economy is changing consumer behavior is in the way they eat. A recent study from the NPD Group shows that consumers are eating leftovers more often – especially people who are feeling the financial crunch.

Loving Leftovers: Food Prices Change The Way Americans Eat – 04/18/2008

Bring on the casseroles and the leftovers. It turns out that the steep increases in food prices are changing the way Americans shop, cook and eat.

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Filed under: Consumer, diet, economy, food, In Store

Big Players in Diet Industry Shift Focus to Online Presences

Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers Launch Internet-Only Offers and Deals, Change Approach to Losing Weight

Published: February 18, 2008

NEW YORK ( — The battle of the bulge is increasingly being waged on the web.

Heavyweights in the $60 billion weight-loss industry — Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and NutriSystem — are still on track to spend a combined nearly half a billion dollars on TV and print, according to TNS Media Intelligence and Marketdata Enterprises.

As a Jenny Craig spokeswoman, Queen Latifah preaches health, not thinness.
As a Jenny Craig spokeswoman, Queen Latifah preaches health, not thinness.

But increasingly, those traditional ads are being used to draw consumers online, where they can view commercials, read dieting blogs, and download weight-loss tools such as recipes and calorie-counters that track their progress.

Internet and home-delivery diets are the fastest-growing segments of the market, according to John LaRosa, research director at Marketdata Enterprises, an independent market-research firm. Mr. LaRosa said, “70% of the target consumers are do-it-yourself dieters, and they try several different types of programs.”

Market leader Weight Watchers is spending more of its ad dollars promoting its website. The site has more than 600,000 paying subscribers representing 10% of its estimated $1.5 billion in revenue for 2007, up 20% from last year, Mr. LaRosa said.

Trashing diets
While the core of the Weight Watchers program has been meetings, its increasingly popular online program offers the option of managing weight loss without the group setting. Its site offers a link to a MySpace page hosted by vlogger and Weight Watchers success story Faintstarlite (real name Esther Brady). Ms. Brady is expected to do weekly vlogs and lead a viral campaign in which consumers submit their worst diet experiences to be displayed on a Times Square interactive billboard. The approach, led by McCann Erickson, New York, jibes with the industry’s move to strike the negative connotations of the word “diet” and equate it with health. “Stop dieting. Start living,” reads its new tagline.

The site for Nestlé-owned Jenny Craig’s Jenny Direct program, which offers home delivery of food products and long-distance counseling, was recently relaunched; it offers a free suite of e-tools to track weight and measure progress.

While the website for home-delivery-diet company NutriSystem focuses on testimonials from regular customers, Jenny Craig uses celebrity endorsers and follows their transformations on the program. On its site, people can watch commercials and access a diary and videos from spokeswoman Valerie Bertinelli. It’s also added Queen Latifah to promote a “Healthy Curves” approach that encourages people to take the first steps to healthy weight loss. “She is not interested in losing a significant amount of weight,” said Steven Bellach, Jenny Craig’s senior director of advertising, branding and media. “She recognizes she’s a role model and wants to do her part.”

Jenny Craig, whose sales for the first three quarters of 2007 are estimated by Mr. LaRosa at $530 million, is expanding its marketing through an experiential campaign that places trick mirrors in New Jersey and California malls. The mirrors “instantly” take off 10 to 15 pounds to show prospects potential weight-loss results. A sampling component helps combat one of the weight-loss industry’s biggest challenges: skepticism about how the food tastes.

David Chalfant, director-brand strategy and design at Fathom Communications, which handled the promotion for Jenny Craig, said the “Mirror in the Mall” campaign’s initial tryout met expectations in lead generation and exceeded them in number of appointments. “Integrated marketing is an academic conversation unless you are able to reach out and connect. Finalizing the connection is the trick.” The campaign could be expanded to 20 major markets across the nation if leads start generating expected appointments.

Filed under: diet

As the Ball Drops, Dieting Companies Take Positions Nearby

Two companies are ready for this year’s round of resolutions, sponsoring electronic billboards in Times Square.


As the Ball Drops, Dieting Companies Take Positions Nearby – New York Times
TEN, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … diet!

Don’t worry, Madison Avenue knows what is likely to be on your mind
imminently, if not already. And it is prepared to bombard you with
weight loss ideas even before the ball drops Monday night.

year, both Weight Watchers and Special K are sponsoring electronic
billboards in Times Square, the most televised (and, perhaps, densely
populated) location on New Year’s Eve. Revelry, it seems, is all well
and good, but self-improvement must never stray too far out of the

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, diet

Consumers Resolve: Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, New Job

But thanks to economic worries, “we expect people to focus a lot of time and
energy improving their careers and getting out of debt,” Nielsen reports. It
expects resolutions related to debt reduction to increase sharply. And it says
resolutions related to saving money will rise, from 11% to 24% of all
finance-related resolutions.


MediaPost Publications – Consumers Resolve: Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, New Job – 12/28/2007
LOSING WEIGHT AND QUITTING SMOKING aren’t just some of the most common resolutions Americans make every year–they are some of the most lucrative. The Nielsen Company estimates that in January, consumers will spend more than $61 million on anti-smoking aids, and more than $47 million on diet aids. The Schaumberg, Ill.-based company says anti-smoking products generated 8.7% of annual dollar sales in January last year, while nutritional diet aids generated 9.9%.

Filed under: Consumer, diet, living target

Weight Watchers to launch in 7-Eleven stores

Partnering with Dawn Foods, Weight Watchers
has cut a deal to sell individually wrapped muffins and snack cakes in
7-Eleven stores across the U.S.–the first distribution deal for the
diet company at a national convenience store. Stacy Gordon, Weight
Watchers vice president of licensing and products, says she hopes a
broader array of products will follow. 7-Eleven operates some 7,000
stores in the U.S. and is known more for hot dogs and coffee than for
healthy food.

In addition, Weight Watchers will partner
with Schreiber Foods to roll out portion-control lines of cheese and
soft-baked cookies in grocery stores. National grocery chains already
sell Weight Watchers-branded food such as candies, baked goods, yogurt,
frozen entrees and ice cream novelties.


You want a Slurpee with that muffin? – Food Inc.-
LOS ANGELES – Weight Watchers International Inc. plans to launch a line of snack cakes and muffins in 7-Eleven convenience stores across the United States, part of an ongoing move to increase the size of its licensed food business.

In addition, the company is rolling out portion-control lines of cheese and soft-baked cookies in grocery stores, as it increases the range of its products for weight-conscious Americans.

Filed under: Consumer, diet, food

Why Women Lose Weight—or Don’t

A new study reveals how our women’s perceptions of their bodies affect their desire to shed pounds.


Her Body: Women and Weight | Newsweek Voices – Her Body |
A few months back Pat accidentally tried on a pair of size 2 jeans at an outlet store and was astounded to discover that they fit. Of course, she bought them; she had never had a pair of size 2 pants in her closet—ever. But she couldn’t resist asking the clerk why a woman who normally wears a size 8 would fit into a pair of size 2 jeans. The saleswoman laughed and said this clothing line’s sizes seemed to fluctuate with the designer’s own weight. “No matter how much she gains or loses,” the saleswoman said, “we think she always wants to wear the same size.”

That story came to mind as we were reading the results of a recent Cornell University study published in the journal Eating Behaviors, which examined how people’s perceptions of their size and shape motivated them to lose weight. The authors assumed that the further someone was from a healthy weight, the more dissatisfied they would be with their body and the more pounds they would want to lose to achieve an ideal weight (as defined by a Body Mass Index between 18.5 and 24.9. The BMI is a ratio of height to weight. To check yours, click here). But the results didn’t turn out quite as the researchers had expected, which always makes a study more interesting to us.

Filed under: Consumer, diet, Women

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