The omega-3 consumer and the importance of communication

Throughout the supplement world, getting your point across to the consumer is an important part of your company’s success … and understanding the consumer journey to the point of purchase is crucial

For omega-3s, awareness is high throughout Europe; but, there is still a lack of understanding of exactly what omega-3s are good for beyond the general “heart health” theme. Europe is also not typically a supplement-taking culture, so there is ample opportunity for future growth.

As consumer education is so important, GOED has conducted consumer surveys in more than 21 countries to learn more about consumer attitudes and behaviours. A few key points emerge consistently across all countries and cultures. For consumers everywhere, when asked about health concerns, their own health and the health of their family is always at the top of the list, trumping more specific body focused issues such as “concern about my brain or heart”, lack of sleep or energy levels.

Additionally, throughout all geographies, when asked where they go for health information, health practitioners play a key role in advising consumers, scoring higher than friends and family or the Internet.

The differences emerge when you look at different practitioner paradigms according to country. In France, for example, pharmacists are much more influential as a category than in the US.

Specialists such as cardiologists or ophthalmologists may also be more familiar with the science behind omega-3s for certain cardiovascular or eye health-related conditions, while a family doctor or general practitioner may know that EPA and DHA omega-3s are good for you but may not have a deeper understanding of the role they play.

GOED is about to conduct further research into various practitioner groups to gauge levels of understanding, with the eventual plan to undertake a practitioner education campaign.

Consumer infographics and videos Available

In terms of consumer education, GOED believes it’s important to disseminate the benefits of omega-3s while still respecting the regulatory requirements for claims and advertising.

As a result, we have created a series of consumer infographics and video content that we encourage all industry members to use to help educate about the importance of EPA and DHA omega-3 consumption.

These include an infographic on heart health — we have developed specific ones for the US, European and Asian markets — as well as infographics on brain health, eye health and the differences between EPA, DHA and ALA.

We are happy to provide the original content to any companies who would like to translate these into other languages and we can also develop European-specific versions if companies can provide the relevant data.

GOED has also developed a consumer-facing website to provide consumers with basic information about omega-3 benefits. This can be found at www.alwaysomega3s.com.

Companies