Small and Medium Sized Businesses – Developing Your Market Intelligence

Nearly every industry is signifcantly more competitive today that it was only a few years ago. Many companies focus on doing their thing a little bit faster or better than they did last year. But in today’s hyper-competitive environment that may not always be enough. We believe that there are three pillars of Business Intelligence that are given short shrift by many companies, and by ignoring these options, they put their company’s future in peril. The three pillars of Market Intelligence are Competitive Intelligence, Secondary Market Intelligence (syndicated or research that can be found or purchased on an given industry) and Primary Market Research – which is conducting research that is specifically designed to answer the questions that your business is grappling with – and that your competitors should never see (because it’s proprietary information).COMPETITOR ASSESSMENTIt’s important to do a basic SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) on each of your key competitors to understand their positions in the market relative to that of your own company (financial position, apparent growth directions, likely profit margins and the threats that their business is facing). There are companies that specialize in gathering competitive information, and it’s pretty common to spend a couple of months and several thousand dollars to get a report on a number of key competitors. However, because the number of competitors is often very small, it’s often possible to do some gumshoeing on your own. When does your competitor open for business, when do they close, how many customers do they get in the morning, afternoon an evening, and how much does it look like they’re buying? Go in and ask them about their best selling product, buy one and see what they’ve got. You can also do a lot of this research via the web, or by the phone. Look at the city records to see who owns the land, have a realtor friend estimate what the rent would be like on that size building in that part of town. Look at the equipment they have, and the stock that that they carry, count the number of employees. You can probably do a pretty good job of estimating their revenue and even projecting their profit. It’s a good businessperson who has an idea of how their business stacks up.

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SECONDARY MARKET RESEARCHThese are the companies that make their money by keeping tabs on the industry overall and try to understand which major competitors are doing well and which are in bad shape. Many can approximate market shares by talking to companies that provide raw goods or by talking to the channels that these companies sell through. Some of these analysts will estimate whether the overall business is growing or shrinking and are brave enough to project these numbers out for several years. The types of companies that track these industries include International Data Corporation, Dataquest, and don’t forget industry groups. Many of these reports are combined at one wonderful website that can help you quickly find reports on every industry under the sun – Market Research. This is probably the fastest place to find quality information on your industry overall, although it’s not free, unfortunately.PRIMARY MARKET RESARCHOnce you know about your industry, you may decide that you’d like to know more about the specific products or services that you’re developing. Or maybe you just want to find out what kinds of customers are purchasing your products, how happy they are with them, or what their likelihood is of buying another product from you in the future. That’s where Primary Market Research comes in. Primary research entails a couple of dozen different methods of getting customers feedback, depending on what access they have to technology, where they are located in the world, the sensitivity of the topic and whether you think that group synergy would get you a better answer than you would by speaking to a customer one at a time. There are also a few unique methods to probe on other areas, for example there is “lost customer” research, which finds customers that purchased another company’s products and then probing on why they didn’t go with your products.

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Anyway there are a number of ways to get at most any type of business issue that you have. Together these techniques can help a savvy business manager to ensure that they keep a finger on the puse of the market in which they operate – and thereby keeping their positiion in that market safer!

Essential Nutritional Facts For Better Health

The market is flooded with supplements which hardly prove to be of any positive useful deteriorating the health only further. These products do help you either to lose or gain weight, but the proportionate change they cause to the body changes the natural beauty and fitness. To add more to the disadvantage, these products are extremely expensive. At the end of the day, we only end up spending more and more on these supplements which in the long term create side effects, which in turn increase our visits to the clinic.There is no shortcut to fitness and good health. The only way is to work out, eat enough to gain bodyweight and exercise regularly and eat moderate to lose weight. Most products once tested in the lab do not show any instant side effects when they are proved to be efficient. The reason is, usually the ingredients that produce the side effects start showing reactions in the body in the long term.

Nutritionists and health experts most of the times advise against the use of health supplements for women not only because they create issues concerning bodyweight or fitness, but they could increase the current problems for which the product is being used. There have been instances where certain products used for losing weight by reducing the appetite. But simultaneously these products have given rise to other complications related with shortness of breath.Going the natural way for health and fitness is the safest method, but you also need to careful how you go about it, and not overdo certain things. Many starve in the name of dieting which is not right either. Regular exercise or yoga with a balanced diet is the right supplement. Agreed that the woman’s constitution is much different compared to men, but by being sensitive to the body you can be careful enough to chart out your own diet scheme and also a good fitness regime. Read more books on naturopathy, yoga and also vedic food. There is enough information regarding maintaining a healthy body.

Keeping a relaxed and positive state of mind is the prime supplement for maintaining good health. The next step follows with awareness of habits, and benefits of exercise and a good nutritious diet. The overall well-being of the body depends on good exercise, nutritious diet and good sleep. These are the supplements which need to be allowed into your home and nature is selflessly providing it.

Women Triathlete Nutrition Plan and Supplements For Enhanced Performance

Lady triathletes have benefited from the scientific and nutritional advances made in sports and athletics like most modern athletes. Age old sports problems like low energy, cramps and injuries have not been cured, but the answers to why they happen and how to try and prevent them are finally being answered.GlycogenThere are times when all women triathletes experience what is known as a “bonk” or bonking. Despite the funny name or double entendres that one can think of, it is not much fun when you experience bonking, it involves you completely running out of energy or hitting the proverbial “brick wall”.Triathletes bonk because their body uses up its glycogen reserves from physical exertion and this results in a feeling of no energy, continuing your physical activity becomes like running through quicksand.How your body burns glycogen and stored fat calories depends on the amount you have exerted during a race or training session. If you are doing a hard triathlon workout for an hour on an empty stomach, then you will more than likely end up experiencing a “bonk”. If on the other hand you are doing a more moderate one-hour training session without eating anything, your body will use stored fat and glycogen and you will still have enough reserves to get you through.

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Professional athletes learn to train their bodies to utilize stored fat primarily, instead of only their glycogen reserves. Using a monitor, they observe their heart rate while training in various heart rate zones, they can then determine how their bodies react in different conditions and intensities and learn the amount of energy they need to achieve their best performance and how to burn their glycogen and fat at different ratios.The average woman triathlete may not be a professional, but they still need to prevent an energy deficit during a triathlon race or training. First of all, using a proper healthy triathlon designed nutrition plan is paramount, and also making sure there is always a good supply of energy gels and formulated sports drinks available to compensate the deficit in glycogen reserves will make sure that you get to the end of your race or training session.DehydrationEven non-athletes constantly hear advice from doctors about drinking enough water to prevent dehydration and other health problems.The average person consumes about 1.5 gallons or more of water per day in normal bodily activities and respiration. If you are training with the intensity needed to take part in a triathlon, then your water usage level will increase, and it is recommended that you drink at least 4oz of water every 15 minutes.Most triathletes and other athletes should drink at least one water bottle for every hour of exercise they do, and even more when they are racing.Never wait until you are already thirsty before you drink water. Thirst is our body’s built in alarm for dehydration, and good hydration must be practised even if you are not thirsty.Hydrating your body for triathlon workouts and races should start days before the planned activity, and if you are training multiple times a day proper hydration is even more important. Dehydration causes your blood to thicken and forces your heart to work harder to pump the blood around your body, you will have a higher heart rate and your exercise performance will decrease. Dehydration can also result in muscle cramps that can greatly affect your athletic performance.HyponatremiaApart from bonks and dehydration, triathletes may also experience Hyponatremia, an electrolyte disturbance where the plasma has a lower concentration of sodium than normal. During training or racing in a hot climate, the body sweats excessively and loses a great amount of sodium which results in muscle cramps, nausea, headaches, vomiting, disorientation and slurred speech.

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Ironman athletes are prone to Hyponatremia because of the extreme nature of the event. Many pro triathlete women fight sodium loss by taking salt tablets which do not just replace sodium in the body but also help the body in the absorption of water.The good thing for the average triathlete is that much of this type of research is available to anyone, and the remedies and preventative measures are not expensive treatments but simple things that are basically “tricks of the trade”.Most of these simple remedies have been well field tested to help you push yourself harder and improve your training and race times without any adverse affects to your health.As long as your doctor has cleared you to do triathlon training beforehand and you tell him what diet and supplements you are taking, you should be able to start testing some of them and slowly become a better woman triathlete.

The Truth About Abs Program – Is it Effective For Women?

“The Truth About Six Pack Abs” program relies heavily upon lifting weights for the exercise portion of the program. So is an exercise and nutrition system that strongly utilizes weight lifting and muscle building an appropriate program for women? After all, how many women really want six pack abs?Before we get into the details, the short answer is yes, “The Truth About Abs” comprehensive nutrition and fitness system is appropriate for women. This nutrition and workout program is not only appropriate, but if followed to a tee, will give women the overall physique we are looking for. It’s not an easy program by any means, but the e-book’s author Micheal Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist and Personal Trainer, gives us step-by-step instructions for the nutrition component and photos of each of the exercises in the workout section.So What is “The Truth?”The truth that we’re reminded of is that focusing on, and exercising, only one part of our bodies will not give us the results we want for great looking abs, or great buttocks, or great arms, or great whatever. This principle applies to both men and women. “Spot reduction” is a myth and does not work. So if you want great looking abdominal muscles, you’re going to have to work the muscles and lose fat not just in this area, but all over your body. Full body workouts are what it takes to get great looking abs and a great looking physique.

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The Nutrition PartUnfortunately, most adult women, and many girls, have been on at least one diet at one time or another in their lives. Understanding, and even following, a nutrition program is usually not too difficult to do. However, the “diets” we’ve been on in the past often only focused on losing weight and measured results only with a scale. The nutrition sections of “The Truth About Abs” program are comprehensive and are designed with total health and fitness in mind; not just reducing the number on a scale. If followed, the nutrition information will help any woman burn fat, but combined with Geary’s workout program, you’ll not only be burning fat, you’ll be keeping it off as you gain more lean muscle. Geary gives a thorough explanation about how having more muscle over our bodies actually burns more fat not just when we’re working out, but when we are at rest, too. One potential problem with this nutrition plan is that it is not extremely vegetarian-friendly. Vegetarians, and especially vegans, will have to supplement the eating plans with additional information.What About the Exercises?”The Truth About Six Pack Abs” has photos and detailed instructions to perform all the exercises needed for a full-body workout. Even if you’ve never seen a dumbbell before, you’ll be able to do the recommended exercise routines. However, you will have to have access to free weights, also called barbells and dumbbells, and/or a gym. Thorough sample workouts are provided for beginner, intermediate and advanced workout levels. Will I Become Muscle-Bound?Unfortunately, women have been slow to take advantage of the incredible weight loss and health benefits of weight lifting due to the fear of becoming muscle-bound and looking unfeminine.

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This is a myth and a fear we can let go of.Geary explains how women just do not have the testosterone levels required to get really large muscles naturally. We’d have to go out of our way to become really big like the guys we’ve seen at the gym, and we cannot do it naturally.So Does the Program Work for Women?Yes. “The Truth About Abs” will work for women who are truly committed to changing their physiques and their lives. It’s not an easy program and it’s not a “burn fat fast” program. It’s a life changing program.

Women’s Nutritional Health Supplement – Which One is Right For Your Body

It is common knowledge that taking a women’s nutritional health supplement is a great choice. But there are so many options out there, each with hundreds of different nutrients, that it is exceedingly harder now to find the right supplement to gain optimal results without any side effects. When picking a daily multi-vitamin, you will want to calculate in things like age, lifestyle, health conditions, diseases that run in your family and also what benefits you hope to gain from a nutrition supplement.Vitamins and minerals are important nutrients that the body uses to make chemical reactions that drive everything from cell production to the rate at which you digestive system operates to providing you with the energy to get up each morning. All vitamins and minerals, except for vitamin D, must be consumed. It is still possible to be deficient of important nutrients since, truth be told, few of us have perfectly balanced diets.

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Below are a few key nutrients that the daily women’s nutritional health supplement that you select must have.Vitamin A: Given beta carotene, your body will make vitamin A which fights free radicals.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C aids your bodies healing capabilities and increases red blood cell production.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E strengthens cell membranes leading to smoother, healthier skin and hair.
Vitamin D: For optimal calcium absorption.
Calcium: You need 1,000 per day to build and maintain strong bones.With those basic vitamins and minerals covered, you can begin looking at some optional supplements to fit your individual needs.Pregnant women, or those who plan on becoming pregnant in the near future, will need a lot of folic acid, a B vitamin. Folic acid is crucial for DNA formation so without proper amounts, a baby is at risk for birth defects.If you are premenopausal, you will need to increase your vitamin D and calcium consumption so that you can fight the bone degeneration that comes with aging. You will have to increase your consumption from 1,000 milligrams a day to no less than 1,200 milligrams. Those with joint issues should take glucosamine. This supplement keeps the cartilage in your joints healthy and flexible. This will help prevent arthritis, joint pain and stiffness.Women who avoid red meat, and there are many great health reasons for doing so, tend to not get enough iron, though there are other ways to get iron, such as eating more beans and dark green vegetables. Iron is vital to properly oxidant your blood, when deficient, you are not using oxygen efficiently and it is easy to become worn out from simple activities.Some other fantastic complementary supplements to try along with a women’s nutritional health supplement are herbs like echinacea, ginkgo biloba and ginseng. Both ginkgo biloba and ginseng are verified to boost immunity and make your metabolism run more efficiently, and all of us certainly would love to be healthier while weighing a few less pounds! Echinacea is a good supplement for beating colds and viruses during the cold and flu season.

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The decision to start a daily women’s nutritional health supplement is a step in the right direction. Make sure to research any possible interactions with your current medications and the supplements you want to take and talk these over with your doctor. The right supplements for your unique needs will result in improved overall health.

Advertising your services or products on the Internet

For example, if your site made $5,000 in profits and there were 2,500 hits, each visitor would be theoretically worth 50 cents. Another advantage is the simplicity of the pay-per-click process. You can now purchase software that will rate the popularity of keywords and phrases by giving words a number rating based on real search engine activity. Search engines generally list sites that contain quality content rather than scintillating graphics. It requires a bid for a “per-click” basis, which translates to your company paying the bid amount every time the search engine directs a visitor to your site. The consumer is an invaluable resource. You just bid and you’re up and running.

Next, we come to the issue of link popularity. They also offer suggestions for key words after you enter a description of your site. The only fallacy with this concept is the more popular the keyword is, the greater the search engine position you will need to obtain. As with all marketing campaigns, there are advantages and disadvantages. You can compute this value by dividing the profit you make on your website over a given period of time by the total number of visitors for that same time period. Once you have this list in hand, you are ready for the next step: evaluation. Pay-Per-Click is a simple type of paid advertising that most search engines, including some of the largest ones, now offer.

And since you are a business owner and not the consumer, your best bet is to go directly to the source. Popularity is the easiest to evaluate because it is an objective quality. The higher the number this software assigns to a given keyword, the more traffic you can logically expect to be directed to your site. Therefore, you are aiming at a figure less than 50 cents per click. In evaluating the effectiveness of keywords, bear in mind three elements: popularity, specificity, and motivation. A higher bid than yours will lower your position on search engine results. It doesn’t demand any specific technical knowledge, though the more you know about search engines and keywords, the easier – and more effective – the process will be.

You can immerse yourself in all the technical information available online to figure out how to optimize your web pages to achieve higher rankings. Of the popular search engines that offer pay-per-click, one called Overture provides an online tool that will give you the data on how often particular keywords are entered into their search engine. The more popular your keyword is, the more likely the chances are that it will be typed into a search engine which will then bring up your URL. The key (pun intended) to success is to learn everything you can about search engine keyword research. Software such as WordTracker will even suggest variations of your words and phrases. However, the search engines must be able to read the text, meaning that the text must be in HTML and not graphic format. If they are not chosen with great precision, no matter how aggressive your marketing campaign may be, the right people may never get the chance to find out about it.

The aim of evaluation is to narrow down your list to a small number of words and phrases that will direct the highest number of quality visitors to your website. The figure of 50 cents per visitor is the point at which your business breaks even. There are several ways to go about attracting traffic to your website; Pay-Per-Click is one of the options you can choose from, along with developing an SEO, or search engine optimization campaign. Obviously, some keywords are much more effective than others are, but they will not cost you anything except time to set-up your account in your pay-per-click bid. Another essential element of pay-per-click advertising is that you constantly monitor your bid. The idea of optimizing your pages for high search engine rankings is to attract targeted customers to your site who will be more than likely to make a purchase. Each title bar on every single page of your site should contain the most important keywords and phrases taken from the page itself.

If you are down at the bottom of the search results, the consumer will probably never scroll down to find you. Avoid repeating keywords more than once in the title bars, and make sure that identical words are not next to each other. If you do not find code that reads like this, ask your webmaster to put them in. It is very important that you bear in mind that the results of the top search engines providing pay-per-click advertising, which are Overture and Adwords Select, usually appear on other popular search engines. If you want to achieve a high ranking on search engines, this text is essential. But in order for visitors to reach their destination – your website – you need to provide them with specific and effective signs that will direct them right to your site. The keyword “automobile body shops” would rank lower on the popularity scale than “automobile companies,” but it would nevertheless serve you much better.

Both pay-per-click and SEO are targeted to get your website placed as close to the top of search engine results as possible. I know this sounds like something out of science fiction, but it is really just simple code. The more specific your keyword is, the greater the likelihood is that the consumer who is ready to purchase your goods or services will find you. Or you can look at a few simple items on your pages, make some small adjustments, and most likely see improved rankings quite rapidly. Find the exactly right words or phrases, and presto! Hoards of traffic will be pulling up to your front door. Instead of getting a slew of people interested in everything from buying a car to changing their oil filters, you will get only those consumers with trashed front ends or crumpled fenders being directed to your site. However, you company specializes in bodywork only.

The Elevator Pitch: First Contact

Entrepreneurs with businesses in early start-up differ on what they believe to be the most important element, although many professionals will argue that creating a solid business plan should definitely be the first step. A well-crafted business plan lays out all the details and strategies, includes projections for revenue and spending, and will be reviewed in detail by bankers and venture capitalists. But in fact, the most important document that should be created even before the business plan is the “elevator pitch.”

The fact is, most people will not read a business plan unless they have been motivated to do so beforehand. The elevator pitch is that motivating factor. It’s the hook that gets them into the room. It’s the catchy jingle that gets people to pay attention to the ad. It’s the best parts of the business plan, without the boring details. The elevator pitch is the place for the excitement, not the place to include all the technology, buzzwords and explanations.

An elevator pitch should be able to be condensed into a single-page presentation, short enough to be memorized, or read easily within a few minutes—that’s how it got its name, it’s a pitch that’s short enough to be presented during the course of an elevator ride. The elevator pitch condenses your business concept into something that can be presented in about a minute or two—essentially, the parts that matter, the very “essence” of the business.

The elevator pitch skips the hard-core financials, and gets straight to the heart of what it is about the business that really gets you excited. That’s what this pitch is about—you don’t need the proof of concept here yet, that comes in the full-length business plan. The elevator pitch is the commercial that gets people interested.

The elevator pitch should be inspirational and creative, hitting the high points of your business concept, and should accomplish the following:
• Hit the high points of what it is you hope to do
• Summarize the problem/solution aspect of your concept
• Describe the business model—how is it going to make money?
• Create excitement on the part of the reader/listener
• Describe the profit potential without having to bring out charts and graphs
• Tell why you/your company are well positioned to accomplish your goal
• End with a call to action

The first couple sentences are the most critical, and should present your core concept. If you can’t tell what it is you want to do in two sentences or less, then you need to simplify your concept. There will be plenty of time to get into all the details later, once you’ve captured your audience’s interest.

Affordable search engine optimization explained

How do you define affordable search engine optimization ?

Search engine optimization that is cheap can certainly not be defined as affordable search engine optimization as such low cost services that are provided are either not 100% effective or do not cover all the aspects of SEO.

According to me an affordable seo service is one which not only fits your budget but also covers all the aspects of seo that are required to be done on your website to improve its search engine ranking.

So how do you decide which search engine optimization service is best for you.

I. Go for a company that has been there for a long time. Go for a company that is reliable. You can do this by checking the Company details :

a) How long their domain has been registered – The older the better.
b) Does the company provide email id and telephone numbers – A company that just offers you a contact/feedback form is not good enough. Email can be hidden for spam purposes but some details have to be provided.
c) Check history – Has the company ever indulged itself into BlackHat Seo – Avoid such companies.

II. Check to see what all things are covered in your package.

a) See thoroughly what all is covered in your Seo package. Shortlist sites and do a comparison.
b) Time period – How much time will it take for the SEO to be done.
c) Testimonials – It is best to read and check what other people are telling about the Seo company rather than reading the claims and guarantee webpage of the search engine optimization company. Moreover if there is any company that boasts itself by saying they can provide a top ranking then avoid it , no company can guarantee you rankings. Read ‘beware of fake seo’ article here.

Tips for Mom Entrepreneurs: How to Stay Connected to Your Network

As a working mom, you may already feel overwhelmed, juggling dual responsibilities of work and family. When it comes to networking – yet another task – you may feel that “the time I’ve spent at networking has never really paid off.”

Creating a personal and professional network is essential for your work + life success. That’s why working moms need to approach networking with a different paradigm, explained below as a three-part process.

Relationship Building
Networking isn’t just about collecting business cards from people you think may help you. It’s about planting seeds and nurturing long-term relationships that mature over time.

As a mom, you may understand this process well because it calls upon the same nurturing skills you already use with your family.

Empowering Actions
How many times have you attended networking events and seen others jabber on about themselves and frantically hand out dozens, if not hundreds, of their cards? This frenetic approach only makes them look weak. As a working mom, draw on that “Mommy” authority to engage in empowering, networking actions.

They include:
* Give – Adopt a giving attitude. When you meet someone ask, “How can I help you?” Always think, “Who could I connect them with to help them meet their goals?” It’s a natural principle: The more you help others, the more others will help you.

* Ask – Be bold. Always think, “you never know what will happen” and “it’s worth a try.” If you meet a new contact and find you have an instant connection, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

* Follow up – Getting introduced to the “right” people is important, but it’s what you do after the introduction that really counts. If you’ve felt a connection with a new contact, phone, email or send a thank-you note within one or two days. Then, keep in touch periodically, even if just to say, “Hi, it’s been awhile…”

Efficient Use of Time
You may be thinking, “I’d like to stay connected with people, but I just don’t have the time.” Here are three ways to efficiently find time to network:

* Lunch Hours – I’ve historically used my lunch hour, a coveted ME time, to run errands, walk a mile or two or get my hair or nails done. Yet, many associations and groups schedule networking meetings during this time. So, I began to add networking lunches. It’s a great way to preserve early-morning and evening family hours by substituting networking lunches for breakfast meetings or evening mixers!

* “Coffee/lunch over the phone” – My business partner, Jo Della Penna, introduced me to the idea of networking by scheduling “coffee over the phone”. What a great idea! This is a more efficient way to meet. Plus, neither party has to invest in driving time. When you want to spend time with a colleague, try a relaxing “lunch over the phone” by scheduling a lunch appointment, packing a lunch that day and calling at the appointed time.

* Schedule in advance – Earmark your calendar to remind yourself to re-connect with a contact periodically. If you meet a new contact today, schedule the follow up call for two days later and plan a “check-in” email within 60 days.

Remember, the key to networking is building a relationship over time. By using the steps above you should succeed at establishing good relationships that empower you and your business, and yet, don’t use hours and hours of your time.

Food For Women – Companies Are Developing More and More Products Specifically Geared to Women

More than 1,000 new foods and drinks targeting women have hit the global market in the past four years. Nicknamed chick foods, these products include such things as the Luna Bar, Tab Energy drink, General Mills Harmony cereal, and Woman’s Bread. Retail sales of women’s food and beverages in 2004 were more than $4.5 billion, and sales are projected to reach $7.7 billion by 2009. Is the chick food market a lasting, lucrative one, or just a fad?Women are usually the primary buyers of products such as foods and household items-more than $6 trillion a year, according to Time magazine. When more women began working outside the home in the 1970s, marketing efforts to reach them began in earnest. Nowadays, companies are trying to appeal to women less as the “do it all” consumer and more as someone with a strong self-image-self-assured, confident, and secure. “It has to be subtle, showing a woman in a position of power where she is respected,” said Lisa Finn, the editor of the newsletter, Marketing to Women. Condescending to women, such as coloring a product pink, for example, may not go over well.Designed to deal with health issues unique to women, such as PMS, pregnancy, lactation and menopause, or relating to aging, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer. Functional foods designed for women started to make the scene as early as the 1980s. The 1980s also saw a surge in new products with nutritional additives geared toward women, but they are expected to sell even better in the future as awareness of women’s health issues continues to grow.

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The Luna bar may have been the first obvious product marketed directly to women. Introduced in 1999, Luna bars are 100 percent natural and “contribute to women’s nutrition” with ingredients such as green tea extract, nuts, and seeds. It is also fortified with folic acid, soy protein, and calcium-essential nutrients for a woman’s daily nutritional needs. It was created to assist women to obtain more of the nutrients lacking in their current diets.Other products marketed to boost women’s diets include Women’s Bread and Zoe Foods cereals. The founders were looking for foods that could replace hormone replacement therapy and help to alleviate menopausal discomforts such as hot flashes. Zoe Foods’ Flax and Soy Clusters, for example, is a granola cereal with flaxseed and soy, providing phytoestrogens, fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.Soy was found to have protective properties against heart disease, as well as breast and uterine cancers. Calcium is necessary to protect against osteoporosis. Higher calcium diets were also found to ease PMS symptoms. The requirement for calcium increases by about one third during pregnancy, and the requirements for lactation can be up to two thirds. Folic acid requirements also increase during pregnancy.Because of the unique dietary requirements for pregnant women, marketing to those women may be a lucrative sidebar to the women’s food market. According to the Whole Foods Market website, 78 percent of women having their first child are likely to change the types of foods they eat, and 63 percent of women who have given birth previously are likely to change the types of foods they eat. Vincent Foods is marketing a line of nutrition bars for women trying to get pregnant, are pregnant, or are breast feeding. The bar contains DHA and is called Oh Mama! Another company, Al Othman Production and Processing Company in Saudi Arabia, markets fortified milk for pregnant women, with folic acid and other nutrients “essential for the healthy growth of the fetus.” There are pregnancy teas, such as Raspberry Leaf Tea, to strengthen and prepare the uterus for pregnancy and delivery.Men are rarely targeted for new food products, and virtually none of their products address health concerns, according to a Prepared Foods report published in 2004. There is, of course, the “Hungry Man” line of frozen dinners from Swanson’s, which are high in fat and sodium. There are multivitamins (such as One-A-Day Men’s Health Formula) targeted to men, however, which claim to “support a healthy prostate and a healthy heart”.Considering the rates of osteoporosis in the U.S., calcium fortification would be a good idea for any male-oriented products. Osteoporosis is widely acknowledged as a condition affecting females, but the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) reports 12 million men at risk, with men over 50 suffering from osteoporosis more than from prostate cancer. In total, 28 million women and 5 million men suffer from osteoporosis, suggesting a market for bone health for men as well. With the severe lack of products promoting any aspect of men’s health, food manufacturers may wish to consider targeting the health-deprived male.

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Is there a future market for women’s foods? Bloggers are not so convinced that there is a market for these products. Some note the prices are too high. Others claim it is all hype. Still, food manufactures seem willing to gamble on women’s food products.Consider that Datamonitor noted 240 new products geared toward women were launched in 2005, compared to 71 in 2004, 93 in 2003, and 174 in 2002. Some advertisers have balked at targeting a product “for women,” as they would rather have the consumer decide who it is for. Others, such as Quaker Oats (Nutrition for Women oatmeal) are unafraid to market directly to women.The recent fascination with health and wellness may drive this market to further success, if marketers are careful about how they present their products to women.