LAS VEGAS, NV — May 5, 2008 — If you want to make the healthiest choices at the supermarket, set specific goals, make plans before you shop and stick to them, according to the 16th annual Shopping for Health 2008 survey released here today by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Prevention at the FMI Show plus MARKETECHNICS®.

Nearly everyone (80%) tries “a lot” or “some” to eat healthfully. Among those who try a lot, 10 percent say they are “always successful.” This survey profiles the one in 10 who succeeds.

How Do Healthy Eaters Succeed?

•     Successful eaters say their grocery decisions are driven strongly by goals to manage weight (52%). They are also more likely than average to shop in order to avoid future medical conditions or manage a current condition.

•     They develop a plan and stick to it, starting with using a list when they shop — done by 65% of healthy eaters, compared with 42% of all consumers.

•     Their plans include eating more fruits and vegetables (87% vs. 63% of all shoppers), limiting foods with trans fats (79% vs. 63%) and reducing portion sizes (79% vs. 47%).

•     83% eat dinner at home five to seven times per week, giving them better control over healthy ingredients, compared with 66% of total shoppers.

Who are these healthy eaters? They mirror the average shopper — that is, six in 10 are women, slightly more than half are married and about one in five is black or Hispanic.

“This survey shows that anyone can eat healthfully,” said Cathy Polley, R.Ph., FMI vice president of pharmacy services. “All they need is determination and direction, which food retailers can provide with nutrition information, in-store dietitians and clinics, often coordinated with supermarket pharmacies.”

Locally Grown the New Organic

This year, shoppers are opting to choose locally grown produce over organic alternatives.

•     When cost is the same, 50% of consumers say they would choose locally grown produce vs. organic (28%). Only 9% would choose a store-packaged alternative.

•     When store-packaged strawberries are less expensive than the organic or locally grown varieties, 45% say they would choose store-packaged; 34% would still choose locally grown; and 22%, organic.

“Shoppers’ new interest in locally grown food reflects their strong desire to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Cary Silvers, director of consumer insights for Rodale, the publisher of Prevention, who presented the findings today at the FMI Show plus MARKETECHNICS®. “The battle between organic and locally grown represents who shoppers believe can deliver the freshest produce.”

Reasons Consumers Who Once Purchased Organic No Longer Do

•     70% say it is too expensive.

•     39% cite the lack of perceivable difference between organic and non-organic foods.

•     33% are concerned about the safety of organic produce.

The “Swap-Out” Factor

Although consumers admit to not always choosing the most diet-friendly option when it comes to unhealthy indulgences in product categories such as ice cream, cookies and salad dressing, many are amenable to healthier choices. The swaps that consumers say they would make:

•     Healthier alternatives in the same product category, for example, those with less fat or fewer calories. Consumers reported they would purchase healthier salad dressings (41%), potato chips (36%) and ice cream (27%).

•     100-calorie packs of cookies — 23% said they would purchase this over any other alternative — but 20% of cookie-eaters would not change their habits at all.

•     Drink less soda —- 29% of consumers choose this alternative — but 28% would not change their consumption.

Shoppers Dieting

•     More than one in three shoppers (38%) said they had started a diet in 2007.

•     Two-thirds (66%) of these shoppers were still on a diet by November 2007.

•     More than half of dieters (57%) said they are on no specific diet regimen; they are merely watching their calories.

The 2008 Shopping for Health survey of America’s supermarket shoppers is the 16th in an annual series conducted by FMI and Prevention with the support of Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines. The survey examines shoppers’ interests and attitudes regarding health and nutrition, their efforts to manage diets, and the ways in which health and nutritional concerns play out in buying decisions at the supermarket. To purchase Shopping for Health 2008, visit the FMI Store at or call 202.220.0723.

Methodology: This report is based on a national online survey of more than 2,700 adult shoppers, conducted by Harris Interactive in November 2007 on behalf of FMI and Prevention. All respondents had primary or equally shared responsibility for his or her household’s grocery shopping.

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Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its 1,500 member companies — food retailers and wholesalers — in the United States and around the world. FMI’s U.S. members operate approximately 26,000 retail food stores, plus 14,000 pharmacies, with a combined annual sales volume of $680 billion — three-quarters of all retail food store sales in the United States. FMI’s retail membership is composed of large multi-store chains, regional firms and independent supermarkets. Its international membership includes 200 companies from more than 50 countries.