This trend calls for a change in the health-oriented marketing of food. In the supplement category, it means people are electing to buy a supplement that offers a clear solution to a specific problem, as in a supplement to keep joints healthy as opposed to a supplement to give them a lot of vitamin D.
So a program such as “Turkey. The Perfect Protein” may be true but won’t motivate purchase because it doesn’t identify specific problems that eating turkey can help solve.
Hidden in all the literature are various claims that might need to be emphasized more if sales are really to be driven by this campaign. For example, the National Turkey Federation keeps a page on its web site suggesting that you can “Let Turkey Improve Your Mood — Naturally” and goes on to say this:
Protein-rich foods, such as turkey, contain amino acids that, in certain circumstances, bolster the brain’s neurotransmitters that can affect mental outlook.
Knowing how different foods cause the body to produce certain amino acids can be a useful way to plan a nutritious, low-fat, tasty meal. Enjoying a turkey sandwich before a meeting is much more likely to boost alertness than a plain bagel or a candy bar. Adding chopped turkey to a lunchtime salad will set the proper mind-frame for a productive afternoon at the office or in school.
They are treading carefully. The web site goes on to say: “Using food to adjust mood is a fairly new concept, but it is certainly worth exploring.”
Indeed it is. There is an FDA procedure for making qualified health claims about food. Whether pushing turkey, milk, seafood, whole grains, fruits and vegetables or something else entirely, the ability to sell specific benefits as opposed to general features is likely the key to effective health-oriented marketing.