Superfood is a growing product category that’s estimated to reach $5.61 billion by 2024. Superfood products come in a seemingly endless variety of types — greens, elderberry, mushrooms, and wheatgrass, to name a few. And like most other products, they can be bought and sold on the Amazon marketplace.
When it comes to Amazon, there’s one big milestone that occurs every year in the superfood space: New Year’s. Most health-centered products experience a boost this time of year, and superfood products are no exception. Usually, this boost in interest starts to taper off around March, but things went differently this year.
As you can see in the Google Trends data above, online interest in superfoods peaked in January and then never really settled down. Where we’d typically expect to see a low point in March, there’s a high point instead. You could probably guess why. Most of that sustained interest is related to the outbreak of COVID-19, which started to pick up its momentum in the US around early-to-mid March.
COVID-19 brought health and wellness concerns to the forefront of consumers’ minds. Health-related products drew enormous amounts of interest, and due to brick-and-mortar closures and stay-at-home orders, much of that interest was driven online and towards Amazon.
What does the superfood landscape look like on Amazon?
One interesting thing to note about the Amazon marketplace is that there isn’t a set “superfood” category. There used to be, but the company did away with it and split it up into smaller subcategories: probiotics, blended vitamins & mineral supplements, sports nutrition, drink mixes, antioxidants, spirulina, chlorella, alfalfa, and other herbal supplements. Most superfood products end up in one of those categories.
Some of the most common types of superfood products on Amazon are greens, reds, mushrooms, wheatgrass, cacao, acai, moringa, berries, and beets. These products come in a variety of formulations, mainly detox and digestion, energy, protein, children’s products, and beauty (collagen/other anti-aging).
There’s a lot of competition when it comes to these different product types, formulations, and sub-categories — but there’s also a lot of opportunity. To capture that opportunity, superfood brands need to appeal to the Amazon shopper specifically, which may be quite different from the typical brick & mortar or DTC consumer.
Reaching superfood shoppers on Amazon
The average superfood shoppers on Amazon could be described as consumers who want a quick, easy, and natural way to get important nutrients. Reaching those consumers is everything, and to do that, you have to understand what they’re looking for.
Let’s take a look at the needs and wants of an Amazon superfood shopper.
What do customers look for in a superfood product?
- An energy boost
- A good taste, or a taste that they can get used to
- Improved digestion
- A general feeling of being healthier
- Improved hair, skin & nail health
- A quick & easy way to get greens/vegetables
- Pain relief
- A product that mixes easily into water/juice/smoothies
What makes them dissatisfied with a purchase?
- Bad tasting products
- Overpriced products
- Products that fail to deliver noticeable benefits
- Products with inconsistent batches
- Unnatural product ingredients
- Sudden changes in the product formula
What callouts matter most to them?
- Allergen and gluten-free
- The types of sweeteners used
- Caffeine content
- Country of origin
To appeal to superfood shoppers on Amazon, brands need to take these things that matter and work them into their product and presentation. That begins first with the product. It’s essential to have a product that’s high quality and delivers results based on the consumer’s expectations. The real challenge is in communicating the value of that product to the consumers.
“Customer education is everything for superfood brands,” said Netrush Director of CPG Jen Mohan. “You’re going after a segment of shoppers that are very ingredient minded, so communicating the ingredients of your product is really important to winning and retaining those shoppers.”
Brands need to educate consumers about the things that make their product great. This can be done in the listing through content. It can be done through advertising campaigns and Amazon stores. Education should take place in every consumer-facing aspect of a brand’s Amazon presence.
To learn more about appealing to shoppers through Amazon content, check out our Content is the Conversation article.
The outlook for superfood on Amazon
Our research indicates that superfood will continue to grow as a retail category, and with that growth will come new products and consumer trends. Superfood, like many retail categories, is experiencing a significant spike in interest due to the pandemic. There’s a lot of opportunity for superfood brands to use this moment and reach new consumers, especially on Amazon.