Trends are the name of the game for much of retail merchandising. It’s certainly the case for grocery purchasing (just ask a CPG marketing agency). Trends that are picking up steam can draw mini-rushes of interest and purchases. But in some cases (seemingly overnight) all that stock that had just been flying off the shelves is now relegated to the discount rack.

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Then there are the products that prove to be steady trends, rather than fleeting fads. They’re the ones that peak, dip, and then plateau—but seldom disappear (like quinoa, smoothie-specific fixings, granola, goat cheese, etc.). This is one of the features that distinguishes a fad from a trend.

So how can you know if a trending health product is a long-term draw worthy or early adoption, or a flash-in-the-pan fad destined to fizzle out?

Consider the Sources and the Claims

The general nutritional information provided by mainstream scientific authorities and organizations usually turns out to be accurate. Meanwhile, hype, endorsement by celebrities, flashy pseudoscientific assertions, a lot of hopeful speculation from the media about the effectiveness or popularity of a product or diet, and brief surges of interest from the public can confuse and briefly prop up doomed fads.

Behind all the hype for virtually all of health fads that have come and gone, there’s often been steady, reliable messaging from food science and nutritional medicine experts pointing out that the fads are, at best, health-neutral to moderately healthy and helpful when combined with exercise. At worst, they are unhealthy and counterproductive. For something like kale, the legitimate experts point out that it is a bona fide healthy food that should be eaten in moderation with other healthy foods, rather than being relied on as a must-have addition to anything else consumed.

Along with relying on legitimate sources, the hyperbole of a claim can be another good indicator of a fad. Modest, positive claims about the nutritional value of something and its value as an inclusion as part of a healthy lifestyle is good. Claims that a product alone will cure cancer, diabetes, depression, and “burn fat” are seldom proved out and worth being wary of.

Use a Food Broker as an Information Source

Trustworthy intelligence regarding the staying power of a fad or trend can be hard to come by. The past performance of seemingly comparable products can provide insight, but as quickly as the marketplace and customer tastes are changing, it’s hard to know what is or isn’t a comparable product.

Fortunately, CPG brokers inhabit a strategic space in which they have a broader knowledge and inventory of past, current, and upcoming fads and trends. Their understanding of the buying habits of consumers and what sort of products they tend to buy long-term, and which are transient fads, is unvarnished. Because the thing is, when people speak with their wallets, they virtually always tell the truth.

Plus, this valuable insight into long-term buying habits provides a rare objective glimpse past hype or sales and marketing agency spin. This knowledge shines a light on the true, long-term spending habits of consumers that transcends just one location, or even one chain. A trusted and reputable food broker will be familiar with consumer trends across an entire market.

For a wise food retailer, their trusted food broker can and should be an invaluable source of information on food, health, and diet trends. That’s one of the many reasons it pays to invest in a high-quality food broker.

About Impact Group

Founded in 1994, Impact Group focuses on employing empirical, fact-based data on consumer buying and CPG marketing trends to guide their clients onto the most productive growth paths. This approach, which utilizes their proprietary technology, has resulted in Impact Group emerging as one of the most effective and respected players in the CPG space. They remain large enough to make an impact, but streamlined, efficient, and nimble enough to specialize, optimizing growth for any client’s niche.

Take your brand to the next level with Impact Group at Impactgrp.com