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Omega-3s may soon be back in the limelight thanks to a national publicity campaign by GOED.
The Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED; Salt Lake City) is moving forward with its national campaign to boost omega-3 sales recovery. Scheduled to launch on March 16, the national campaign will utilize television, digital media, public relations efforts, and in-store advertising in hopes of reminding the public about omega-3s.
GOED had initially planned to postpone the launch pending further financial support from the larger omega-3 industry of the GOED-led Omega-3 Coalition and sales campaign, but the association now says it will move ahead with the national launch following the campaign’s successful test run in North Carolina last fall.
In February, Ellen Schutt, GOED’s communications director, told Nutritional Outlook that “the omega-3 coalition was hoping to launch a national rollout in mid-March, but plans were on hold pending the commitment of additional funds from interested industry players.”
At last week’s Natural Products Expo West trade show, GOED Executive Director Adam Ismail said that the upcoming outreach campaign will run for 10-12 weeks and include in-store advertising at 16,000 participating retailers. Last fall’s four-week test campaign in Charlotte, North Carolina revealed that in-store advertising, television, and digital media were more effective at increasing awareness than billboards or print media, said Ismail. He expects the in-store advertising of the national campaign to extend beyond the 10-12 week television advertising period, and the public relations component will be ongoing throughout the year.
Ismail highlighted the importance of keeping omega-3s at the top of consumers’ minds.
“Our industry by and large doesn’t spend a lot on advertising. We’ve been very lucky and fortunate because the growth was fueled for 20 years by positive science getting in the media.” Unfortunately, he says, fewer positive, large-scale omega-3 trials have been published in recent years, explaining that “the big cause of the downturn was basically consumers forgetting about omega-3s.”
“If the media isn’t writing about these positive stories about omega-3s, then we can fill the gap here,” said Ismail. “The public relations component of it is to reach out to media and point out to them that there are still positive stories about omega 3, they’re just not writing about it.”
Additionally, a wave of highly publicized negative studies, including a much criticized prostate cancer study also took their toll on market sales, leading to steep declines over the last year and a half.
“Often times, it’s just [consumers] need a trigger. There’s a trigger that reminds them ‘Oh yeah, I used to take fish oil. I liked it. I felt better. I need to keep taking it.’ It’s really truly just reminding,” said Ismail. “When we did the Charlotte test, the most effective vehicle in terms of improving consumer purchase intent was the in-store advertising, and I think that really speaks to how consumers need that reminder.”
So far in 2015, Ismail saw a slight improvement in the decline of the omega-3 market. He said it’s performing “fairly well” in non-retail channels but still down about 2% in retail channels.
“It’s a good environment we think to launch a campaign, because the market’s coming back towards a break-even flat growth,” said Ismail.
Omega-3 DHA and EPA: 2015 Ingredients to Watch for Food, Beverage, Supplements
Nutritional Outlook magazine
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