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“There's probably no part of the national debate on obesity that raises more concern than the health of America's children,” Michael Sansolo, senior vice president of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), writes in the new edition of Facts, Figures and the Future

“FMI's new ‘Shopping for Health’ report, done in conjunction with the publisher of Prevention Magazine, lays out these concerns and the opportunities for retailers very clearly.

“All discussion of weight loss begins with the need to balance calorie intake versus calories burned. On this very point, the concern is clearly demonstrated. Nearly 45% of parents feel they have a problem getting their children to eat a healthy diet, and 28% say they don't think their children are getting enough exercise.

“Some may be surprised by the exact opposite - that 72% feel their children are getting enough exercise. However, it's clear that this is one case where parents are literally walking the walk. Some 75% of shoppers say they or their spouses exercise with their children. And the percentage exercising with their children rises above 80% for Hispanic parents and parents under the age of 41.

“Parents try to influence how their kids are eating by focusing on nutritious products: 67% say they almost always buy nutrition items and another 27% do so regularly. Clearly a major focus on these purchases is on produce as nearly two-thirds of parents say their children are getting five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.”

All this adds up to a great marketing opportunity for supermarkets, Sansolo writes, offering some basic suggestions:

1. Use shelf signs or color codes to draw shoppers to nutritious products for children.
2. Build off-shelf displays to highlight products that appeal to parents' needs for nutritional foods that are also easy to prepare.
3. Develop promotions that show the ease of preparing school lunches at home to build on the wide satisfaction shoppers have with those specific meals.

In other F3 stories this month:

• Phil Lempert looks at the food allergy issue, noting that “supermarket retailers and CPG companies have not only a responsibility to make sure that any prepared foods or baked goods are clearly labeled so that those with allergies can avoid specific trigger ingredients, but also have a responsibility to stock and showcase products that are specifically designed for those with food allergies.”

F3 looks at the vast variety changes that are taking place in the potato chip category.

• The second anniversary of the discovery of mad cow disease in the US is marked, with the note that consumers are buying more organic beef than ever.

• A look at how consumers think the supermarket will…and should…change in the coming year.

• And much more.

To get your copy, go to:

F3 is a joint production of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), ACNielsen, and Phil Lempert.

(Full disclosure: MNB Content Guy Kevin Coupe is a contributor to F3.)
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