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Realign and reframe

Esther Mills-Roberts
Communications Manager, Health Food Manufacturers’ Association

So here we are, approaching the Spring of 2022.

Although it feels that we’re still in a period of national uncertainty around how the pandemic will pan out, we can reflect positively on how natural health products have never been as popular as they are right now. Perhaps one of the most profound changes to consumer behaviour is that people are actively seeking out information online, especially those in a younger demographic that haven’t engaged with supplements before (18-34s), and those for whom online shopping is the norm.

In the HFMA’s own Health of the Nation Survey 2021: Lockdown Focus, nearly a third of those questioned had started taking supplements that year, with more seeking information from their doctors and online, and 41.6% doing ‘personal research’. As the pandemic has been with us for two years, the HFMA has noted an upscale into higher level questions, from simple entry level “what is?” to ones that are slightly more tricky: “does?”, “can?” or “should?”.

And so, after months of steady, positive coverage on vitamin and mineral supplements in 2020 and the front half of 2021, our media monitoring team saw the emergence of some negative stories around the efficacy and safety of natural products. The HFMA quickly engaged with journalists to realign them with facts, pointing out that our industry is highly regulated, and that consumers should have every confidence that supplements are safe and responsibly marketed (especially by HFMA members who agree to abide by our Code of Practice and Guidelines).

If the website HealthyDoesIt was important last year, it’s even more important now as a source of information for consumers that is trusted, reliable and accurate. More than this, it’s a ‘meeting point’ for natural product companies, retailers and practitioners who can share content and campaign information knowing that it’s fact checked and fool proof. The content is based on science and checked by experts. It is careful in tone of voice, in inference, and in the way that copy is mindful of regulatory boundaries. In this sense, it’s aligned with information that is on shelf in stores.

The heart of HealthyDoesIt’s mission was to push consumers into health stores, and this is woven through every feature and campaign message. We are fully confident that the high quality content that we produce will be accurately and appropriately purposed by trained health store staff when it comes to the transition from ‘read’ to ‘buy’.

Engaging with HealthyDoesIt is an easy win, being a free resource for all. At the very least, it ensures that your store is on the map (literally, through the website’s unique ‘Health Store Finder’ function). At best, you can increase awareness of natural products by using HealthyDoesIt retailer toolkits full of campaign assets: videos, expert features and social media assets.

HealthyDoesIt’s potential is as big as the collective reach allows. Come on board, and help us to drive the mission to keep natural products, and health stores, at the forefront of consumers’ minds.

Get involved: HealthyDoesMenopause this Spring

For all enquiries, please contact: hello@healthydoesit.org

Tel: 0208 481 7100

Email: hfma@hfma.co.uk

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