Men turn to chocolate as comfort food just as often as women
WATERBURY, Vt. Movies often portray broken-hearted and stressed out women gorging themselves with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, chocolate cake or a gargantuan bag of M&Ms, but it seems they aren’t the only gender with a serious sweet tooth. According to a Brand Keys survey, men are hitting the office vending machine more than usual, due to financial and business-related stress, recent survey results collected by Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company said.
All 750 men who participated in the Ben & Jerry’s survey reported eating more chocolate in the survey taken Friday through Sunday.
“There’s so little that one can actually do about the economy, and people are feeling so disconnected from the problems and the solutions that it was just interesting to see how consumers were reacting,” Robert Passikoff, president of customer loyalty firm Brand Keys, told the press. “Buying a candy bar is in fact something they can do.”
Chocolate is known for its many health benefits, despite its high amount of calories and fat. Besides the obvious advantage of being absolutely delicious, chocolate contains antioxidants and sends endorphins that reduce pain and decrease stress to the brain. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter used in many antidepressant medications, also affects the brain, often producing a more cheerful, upbeat mood.
On the other hand, a somewhat recent study by the Black Dog Institute in the Journal of Affective Disorders claims that chocolate may actually make depression worse, depending on the individual’s personality. If you’re simply a chocolate craver, you’re safe. For cravers, chocolate stimulates the dopamine system and provides an enjoyable experience, said Professor Gordon Parker, executive director of the Sydney-based Black Dog Institute. “But the emotional eaters, people who eat chocolate to relieve boredom, stress or clinical depression, are looking for an opioid effect to improve their mood.” For them, chocolate may produce an initial relief that quickly disappears, sometimes heightening their earlier, negative mood.
So what kind of guilty pleasures are people reaching for? The 750 men surveyed preferred Snickers over any other. The top ten were:
2. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
3. Kit Kate Bars
4. Milky Way
6. Baby Ruth
7. Three Musketeers
9. Oh Henry!
Progresso removes MSG from all Progresso soups
MINNEAPOLIS Progresso is following the health trend and removing monosodium glutamate (MSG) from its soups. It announced yesterday that already 26 are MSG-free, and the company will gradually remove the additive from all 80 of its soups.
MSG has been added to foods as a flavor enhancer for decades, has no nutritional value and has recently been surrounded by health concerns.
Campbell’s should be feeling the pressure at this point. Progresso is already the leader in the ready-to-eat soup category, and this new marketing move could reflect poorly on Campbell?s. More than 90 of its soups contain MSG, according to Kyle Duea, marketing manager for Progresso.
“More than 3 million consumers have moved to great tasting Progresso soups in just the last two years,” says Jerry Lynch, vice president of marketing for Progresso. “We’re going to continue to focus on innovation and new products to help grow this category for our retailers, and consumer can rest assured that we will continue to deliver the same high-quality and great taste that they have come to expect from Progresso.”
Nielsen report says more than a third of U.S. shoppers cutting back this holiday season
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. According to research released today by the Nielsen Co. about 35 percent of consumers in the United States plan to be spending less on holiday shopping this year. Nielsen surveyed 21,000 households with various incomes to produce the research.
A very small amount—6 percent—said that they plan to spend more on the holidays than last year and about and half of the people surveyed said they plan to spend the same amount this holiday shopping season as last year. The timeframe equal to about one month between Thanksgiving week and the last week of December is the period commonly referred to as the “holiday shopping season.”
About 28 percent of consumers surveyed said that they plan to spend at department and electronics stores, Nielsen said. But more shoppers—about 50 percent of those who said they would be spending the same amount as in 2007—said they would be making purchases at grocery stores, mass retailers and supercenters and mass merchandisers. Another 12 percent of shoppers said they would likely be buying gift cards at convenience and drug stores and/or gas stations, the survey results said.