Women at NBCU Brand Power Index – Healthy Wins

NBCU brand power index jpg 
Have you ever tried to eat healthy while in an airport?   Seriously.  

I am on a meal plan where I have to avoid caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and baked goods.  I look for lean protein, fresh vegetables, and fresh fruit. 

Try sticking to that plan while stuck in the Philadelphia airport for almost 12 hours.   Seriously.

There are no Whole Foods, or vegetable stands, or organic meat vendors.  But there are a lot of fast food restaurants.  Which brings me to the latest findings of The Women at NBCU Brand Power Index, the most comprehensive marketplace measure of the brands most talked about by women.

Over a six month period, some of the biggest gainers in the index are Wendy's McDonalds, and Domino's.   Food brands that embraced healthy alternatives are capturing women’s attention like never before. 

“With the national obesity crisis at an all time high, women – who make 90% of today’s consumer healthcare decisions – are clearly taking notice,” said Melissa Lavigne-Delville, VP of Trends and Strategic Insights for Women at NBCU. “What’s particularly interesting about the index findings is that some fast food brands are generating more buzz for their healthy products than other brands more commonly associated with health and wellness. This is a great illustration of the power of positive brand equity, which can be leveraged to launch new products and help companies enter areas of the market not typical to their business.”

The report notes the healthy changes in brands that moved up the index:

McDonald’s saw an additional 10-spot surge over the 6-month period, after a partnership with social game FarmVille went live, virtually aligning the brand with fresh farm produce. Wendy’s climbed into the top 100 to #96, after introducing four new salad options as well as “natural-cut” fries seasoned with sea salt. In the last month of 2010 alone, Domino’s Pizza catapulted 140 notches up the Index to #218, coming off a major push to educate consumers on the California farm-grown tomatoes and 100% real cheese now used in every pie.

While not all American women are trapped in airports for extended periods, they may face similar challenges – how do you make better choices in the situation you are in?

I've noticed a trend in transparency in labeling at restaurants.  I asked Melissa Lavigne-Delville, VP of Trends and Strategic Insights for Women at NBCU what her thoughts were on better food labeling in restaurants.

Eating healthy can be tough — as we can see with the rise in obesity — so more consumers are looking to gain knowledge about exactly what they are eating.  Menu labeling laws enacted in various states make it easy for patrons of some restaurants to know how much fat and calories they are chowing down — and now, one burger joint on the West Coast is taking the labeling to the receipt. In addition to very detailed calorie, fat, fiber and carb counts, Oregon's Burgerville receipts feature helpful tips on how to make healthier menu choices.

Whether you're a brand/company/restaurant known for healthy foods, or just trying to get known for a few healthy options, now's the time to get the word out to women consumers.   It can be a big boost to your brand equity. 

What other brands scored well on The  Women at NBCU Brand Power Index?  For the 6-month period, the following consumer brands made the top 25 list:

1) Walmart 2) Target 3) Verizon 4) eBay 5) Ford 6) Coca-Cola 7) AT&T 8) iPhone 9) iPod 10) Pepsi 11) Honda 12) Amazon.com 13) Sears 14) McDonald’s
15) Samsung 16) Toyota 17) Bank of America 18) Netflix 19) Kohl’s 20) Sony 21) Sprint 22) Microsoft 23) Tylenol 24) Xbox 25) Comcast

 Now, if anyone can give me pointers on healthy airport eating, I'm all ears.



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2 Responses to Women at NBCU Brand Power Index – Healthy Wins

  1. Try looking for gluten-free, low-calorie, non-beef options in an airport or on the road! It’s next to impossible.
    In terms of transparency, Taco Bell isn’t mentioned in your post, but they really impressed me in their response to the “not-all-beef” lawsuit of this past weekend. Not only did they specify the exact percentage of beef to other ingredients, they listed every other ingredient. And when I visited a Taco Bell while traveling earlier this month (they’re one of the few gluten-free fast food alternatives available), even though I’m not much of a beef or pork eater, I was delighted to see a new “fresco” menu that listed the grams of fat in each such menu item. My taco seemed to have fresher ingredients and I didn’t even miss the cheese.
    I hope fast food continues on this trend! This is one woman who’s noticing and appreciating it.

  2. Sam says:

    Hi Karen,This is a process that takes time and will not occur at once i.e. no shutoctrs. Each new generation of women has benefited from previous struggles and this would continue. Here in India the current generation is at, where the previous or even earlier American generations were in the gender equality struggle. Though I would prefer merit rather than equality ie the person regardless of sex with the higher merit would be paid higher. Though how merit is defined definitely matters!Regards

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