We love new food products, as evidenced by the ever-growing array and permutation of new goodies at our grocery stores. Among those who say new food products are important to them, the top reason why they buy new food products is health.
Open your eyes when you’re next grocery shopping and look around you — your favorite grocer is morhping into a health destination. Whole Foods has launched its Whole Body store-within-a-store concept. Wegmans offers their Eat Well Live Well program. Even Wal-Mart, home of the $4 generic drug price-point, has begun to offer organic food based on demand according to location.
To capitalize on the expanding intersection of health and food, IMS Health, the leader in providing prescription medicine data to the industry, has allied with IRI, a major provider of similar data for the consumer packaged goods and retail sectors.
The IMS/IRI alliance is so important for health because typical data repositories in health care are populated by health claims data — from reference laboratories, imaging centers, hospitals, physicians offices and, yes, pharmacies. But those are only health care sources and don’t count the substantial consumer out-of-pocket spending that’s, well, totally consumer-driven. By integrating retail data which details a consumer’s use of over-the-counter medicines, vitamins/minerals/supplements, food (healthy and otherwise, organic and non-), and other consumer products, the IMS/IRI analysts could eventually create a 360=degree view into a consumer’s health-style. These would be used for marketers in developing and targeting advertising as well as for new product development.