News Focus: Health and Wellness

Longevity to be the next wellness trend, says Campbell

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

The final article in a series on the health
and wellness practices of major US food firms reveals that Campbell
Soup Company is expecting a major shift in the market, which will
affect the way products are developed and marketed.

According to Chor San Khoo, the firm's vice president of global nutrition and health, longevity will be the next big trend to hit the industry. "Wellness is a huge market, and is growing at double digit rates. But the way consumers consider wellness is changing, and we predict there will be great changes in the market over the next ten years, which will impact how we develop products, how we market them, and possibly how we regulate them,"​ she said. "When the health and wellness market first emerged, the focus was on foods with health benefits. Now it is on a better quality of life. In the future, consumers will want to live longer." ​ According to Khoo, the major factors affecting the health and wellness market are an ageing population, increasing obesity, nutrition individualization, and higher numbers of working women. "We're getting older and fatter. Obesity is the cross point to multiple disease conditions. In the next ten years, I predict we won't use the term 'wellness' anymore, we'll use 'live longer' as a basis for how we market products,"​ she said. Looking back at the steps Campbell has taken to drive its growth in the wellness market to date, Khoo identified six major company strategies. These are: benchmarking its products against competitor goods; listening to consumers; using supporting science; using technology to achieve good taste together with wellness benefits; innovation at the point of sales; and using national nutrition guidelines as a reference base. "We looked at national nutrition guidelines and re-examined our portfolio against these. Consequently, our main moves in the US were to reduce the sodium and trans fat content of our products, and to increase the whole grain and vegetable content,"​ said Khoo. In addition, and in line with other major food firm, Campbell has invested in a number of wellness education and science initiatives. These included the formation of the Center for Nutrition and Wellness, as well as the sponsorship of initiatives such as the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women - designed to help raise women's awareness about heart disease - and Shaping America's Youth - which aims to help promote healthy lifestyles in children. According to Khoo, Campbell plans to continue its health and wellness policy until it has "as many healthy options as possible".​ Challenges she identified in the firm's pursuit of this goal include having a global strategy and executing it locally, keeping up with evolving science and regulations, and ensuring the rapid communication of initiatives. Khoo was speaking at the recent IFT food expo in Chicago, where she participated in the session Senior Executives Cut the Fat on Industry's Approach to Health and Wellness Foods,​ together with executives from General Mills, Kraft, and Nestle. To read the article on General Mills, click here​. To read the article on Kraft, click here​. To read the article on Nestle, click here​.

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