IRI releases first NutriLink segmentation study

CHICAGO — To help CPG manufacturers and retailers identify and leverage the varying shopper beliefs about health and nutrition, IRI has released the first NutriLink segmentation study, which classifies U.S. consumers into six groups based on their behavior and attitudes toward health, diet and nutrition, as well as their demographics, the firm announced Tuesday. 

“Attitudes vary drastically across the NutriLink segmentation, so a clear understanding of each group’s specific wants and needs is essential for effective targeting and enticing shoppers,”Robert Tomei, president, consumer and shopper marketing, IRI said. “These insights can also unlock new opportunities to drive sales volume, increase consumer loyalty and develop successful new products.”

While only three of the six NutriLink segments are actively pursuing healthier lifestyles, all six represent notable growth opportunities for CPG marketers and retailers:

  • Fast & Frugal – Taste and price are key concerns for these shoppers, who have a median income of $36,000, a median age of 46 and make up 26% of shoppers. As a result of their on-the-go lifestyles, they rarely exercise and prefer foods that are quick and easy to prepare or are ready to eat;
  • Sensible Super Moms – To ensure that they and their families look and feel good, these savvy moms prioritize eating right and exercising. They prefer fresh food and actively seek information on nutrition/healthy eating but also believe indulgent snacks can be part of a healthy diet. With a median income of $46,000 and a median age of 42, Sensible Super Moms account for 20% of the population;
  • Wise and Healthy – With a median age of 68 and median income of $49,000, these shoppers are not as adversely affected by changes in the economy and can afford to buy healthy, nutritious groceries. They make an effort to exercise daily and believe in eating healthy food at least 80% of the time in order to stay healthy and disease-free. As many as 16% of shoppers fall into the Wise and Healthy segment;
  • Healthy Chic – These shoppers are actively trying to improve eating habits and tend to follow strict diets or eat healthy at least 80% of the time to stay healthy and maintain or lose weight. This group enjoys a median income of $76,000, has a median age of 44 and accounts for 16% of the population;
  • Convenient and Content – This group does not put a premium on diet or exercise. Their food choices tend to revolve around taste convenience rather than health. With an average age of 54 and a median income of $65,000, they are not particularly affected by changes in the economy. Convenient and Content represent 14% of the population.; and
  • Carefree Coasters – These shoppers generally eat on the run and are largely indifferent to taste, freshness, healthiness and price. With a median age of 50 and a median income of $38,000, they spend very little time thinking about what they eat and are not concerned about calories or other nutritional aspects of food. Carefree Coasters account for 9% of the population.

Though very different, each NutriLink segment is targetable, and each offers unique opportunities for CPG manufacturers and retailers. For example, Fast and Frugal shoppers will be drawn to inexpensive, prepared single-serve meals, while Healthy Chic and Wise and Healthy shoppers will be eager to try new healthy and organic products.

IRI completed the NutriLink segmentation in October 2013, based on a survey of demographically balanced respondents from the National Consumer Panel.



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