Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How to Make Money Selling to Baby Boomers

Just as baby boomers are a large portion of the population working out in your facilities, they are also a large portion of the population purchasing nutritional supplements of all kinds. “Boomers,” the 35- to 54-year-old crowd, are very interested in health issues and all things anti-aging related – which is probably half of the reason you opened a gym in the first place. Anything that will improve the health of their joints and bones, brain, heart, eyes; give immune support, menopausal support, or help them control their weight is worth a shot…and worth a buck out of their wallets. By 2010 one-in-three Americans will be age 50 or over. Fully 56% of the U.S. adult population is taking vitamins of some kind, spending $4.8 billion per year. And, adults who exercise are 22% to 66% more likely to take vitamins than the average1.

So, how do you market effectively to this crowd? Research shows (as does prevalent advertising) that products that are clearly identified as condition-specific attract more attention and increase sales. For example, this statement, “Four common supplements – chromium, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and multivitamins – may help slow weight gain in middle-aged adults,” is very specific and an effective attention-grabber. You can get the supporting article at my website, or at foodnavigator.com. Additionally, the FDA can help you out, they give detailed information on “qualified health claims” which are authorized by the FDA at www.dfsan.fda.gov/~dms/qhc-sum.html –claims related to such things as: cancer and Selenium and antioxidant vitamins; coronary heart disease; Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil); vascular disease, and B vitamins.

Once you’ve got their attention, you will need to differentiate the supplements that you are selling from the ones they are already likely to be using. Most vitamins are sold in grocery stores, drug stores, and large “supercenters” (70%). Another 20% are sold in vitamin stores with only 10% being sold in other outlets, some of which are gyms. So there is huge potential here for you. You have the exact target market for nutritional supplements walking into your facility every day with their mind already on their health concerns and goals. The most common type of vitamins sold, are multi-vitamins in a pill form. So your customers already know the value of vitamins, they are already spending money on them – you simply need to upgrade their standards to a product that they can get most conveniently from you, when they are in for their workouts. Here again, I can’t recommend liquid vitamins too much. Pill forms provide only about 10% to 20% absorption into the system, where liquids are absorbed up to 98%. A high quality, pharmaceutical-grade, liquid vitamin is also retained in the system longer, providing a more effective usage of the nutrients. Your clients already view themselves as above average and they want the products to prove it.

Here is a proposed marketing strategy for supplements in your facility. Implement this and watch your sales grow.
1. Stock up on high-quality liquid vitamins
· Start with the basic multi-vitamin
· Add hot topic boomer issue add-ons – joint formula, fish oil, Calcium
· Market them based on specific conditions – a different feature each month
2. Check out my site or the FDA site for help
3. Appeal to the Boomer’s discriminating taste and demanding lifestyle.
4. Make sure your trainers are recommending your products

Don’t let those health conscious consumers walk out of your gym to the grocery store or vitamin store that is parked next door to you. Those stores know that people who exercise regularly are 22% to 66% more likely to invest in their health through vitamins than the average person. And, since 56% of the U.S. adult population is already buying nutritional supplements, don’t you want to be the one selling them more of the good health that they are looking for?

The U.S. Nutritional Supplements Market – by Packaged Facts, October 2004

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