Conducted by Pulse Health & Wellness Initiatives, the survey claims to reveal untapped potential for marketing healthy brands. "As consumers take a more active role in managing their own health and wellness, they are increasingly turning to healthcare professionals for guidance, including specific brand recommendations. Manufacturers need to educate healthcare professionals about the health benefits of their brands just as much as they need to educate consumers," said Linda Leikin, Pulse CEO. Healthy brands The survey involved 896 healthcare professionals, who were asked to rate their perceptions of how well products and brands met the health and wellness needs of their patients. The participants were asked about over 50 brands that "actively market to health-conscious consumers". According to the group, 60 percent of respondents said that information on products' healthfulness was lacking. Brands that were rated as best meeting consumer needs included Kashi, with its line of natural food products, Fiber One Cereal and Bars from General Mills, and Kellogg's All-Bran. Untapped potential However, other brands are missing the boat, according to Leikin. Although many companies invest in major marketing campaigns to reach consumers, they should not ignore the importance of endorsement by healthcare professionals, she suggested. "Healthy brands looking for the success Kashi and others have achieved may be investing in mass-media vehicles to increase consumer awareness, but are missing an opportunity to earn the highly valued endorsement of a healthcare profession - the kind of authoritative voice consumers trust and seek out." Pulse, which runs a database of over 20,000 healthcare professionals, has developed marketing programs for companies in the food industry, and said it has worked with firms including General Mills, Kashi, Kellogg's, Kraft, Nestle, Unilever.