iVillage and Penton's New Hope Natural Media Announce Alliance on Women's 'Healthy Buying' Patterns

Landmark Research Offers New Insights and Launches Consulting Service

73 Percent of Women Read Labels; 85 Percent Make a Conscious Effort to Buy Healthier Foods

Mar 11, 2010, 09:57 ET from Penton Media, Inc.

NEW YORK, March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- iVillage, the largest content-driven community for women on the Web, and Penton's New Hope Natural Media, the leading provider of information for the natural, organic and healthy products industry, today unveiled new research proving an overwhelming majority of women are more focused than ever on buying healthy foods. The study shows that women are scrutinizing labels for ingredients such as high fiber, reduced fat and low sodium and are staying away from additives such as high fructose corn syrup. The full results will be unveiled at New Hope's Natural Products Expo West (http://www.expowest.com), the largest gathering of the natural, organic and healthy products industry, in Anaheim, CA., on Saturday, March 13 from 12:30-2:00 pm PST. Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, senior vice president of marketing at iVillage and Nancy Coulter Parker, director of content and research for New Hope's Consumer Portfolio will present the findings.

"This inaugural research initiative has demonstrated the power of the iVillage community as a viable research tool and offers in-depth, marketable findings regarding their attitudes towards natural and organic foods," said Jodi Kahn, executive vice president, iVillage. "This deal allows us to bring the unique insights we already provide our major advertisers to an entirely different audience of thousands of natural products companies and gives our community a chance to be heard in the process."

"This study is chock full of information about products, health conditions, ingredients and retailing that will help enable the natural, organic and healthy products industry develop new products and rethink marketing," said Sharon Rowlands, Chief Executive Officer of Penton.  "We entered into this arrangement with iVillage hoping that the two leaders – New Hope in natural, organic and healthy knowledge and iVillage in women's shopping preferences – would be able to develop new offerings to grow this industry.  We achieved our goal."

The new data suggests that women's increasing concern about their own and their family's health is driving them to change their food choices and take control of their nutrition.  Findings include:

  • 73 percent say they read labels carefully as they are concerned about specific additives such as high fructose corn syrup
  • Approximately 50 percent look for specific health benefits such as high fiber, reduced fat and low sodium rather than general claims that food is "organic" or "natural"
  • 71 percent are very interested in buying healthy products at mainstream grocers - a trend that should encourage such retailers to devote more shelf space to healthy and organic products
  • While 57 percent believe organic food is better for them, only 26 percent will actually go out of their way to purchase it
  • 39 percent find that time is the biggest impediment to eating right, closely followed by willpower and motivation

Specifics of the alliance

Detailed survey results are available for purchase across five different market segments – dairy products, frozen foods, beverages, snack foods and baby/kids food.  New Hope and iVillage will also be offering a series of customized research offerings to allow natural products companies to benefit from the insights of the iVillage community with regards to their own brands.

About the Study

The inaugural survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Penton Research on behalf of iVillage and New Hope Natural Media between February 15 and 24, 2010 among 4,898 iVillage members age 18+.  This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no estimate of sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, please contact scott.grau@penton.com.

About iVillage

With approximately 30 million unique visitors per month, iVillage is the content-driven community for women on the web, where they can find the most meaningful content, real-life conversations and the tools they need for their busy lives. The site focuses on categories that best serve women's needs, including Food, Health, Entertainment, Family, Beauty & Style. Additional businesses and brand extensions within iVillage Networks include iVillage UK, NBC Digital Health Network, Astrology.com and GardenWeb. In addition, iVillage enjoys a strategic partnership with BlogHer, the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online.  iVillage Inc., acquired by NBC Universal, Inc. in May 2006, is based in New York City, and is part of the NBC Universal Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks Group.

About New Hope Natural Media

For more than 25 years, New Hope Natural Media, a division of Penton Media, Inc., has been the leading media resource and information provider for the natural, organic and healthy products industry. New Hope's publications, events and e-business products and services deliver industry information and provide community-building forums that showcase the entire value chain of healthy products from start to finish.  As a leading, independent, business-to-business media company, Penton knows business and how to create and disseminate the vital content that moves markets. Headquartered in New York City, the privately held company is owned by MidOcean Partners and U.S. Equity Partners II, an investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP, and its co-investors. For additional information on the company and its businesses, visit www.penton.com.


Bethany Weaver

(216) 931-9551


SOURCE Penton Media, Inc.