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    Food Makers Should Pitch Products to Healthcare Pros: Survey

    Brands are no better at communicating product health benefits to the healthcare industry than they are to consumers, according to a survey from PULSE Health & Wellness Initiatives.

    Healthcare professionals mostly don't think food manufacturers are effectively communicating the health benefits of their products, said health-focused marketing firm PULSE Health & Wellness Initiatives, which recently surveyed healthcare practitioners on the topic.

    PULSE asked almost 900 subjects in its HealthCare Professional Network to rate their perceptions of how well products and brands meet the health and wellness needs of their patients. Sixty percent of the healthcare professionals surveyed said that food companies do not currently provide adequate information about their products for consumers to make healthy purchase decisions. That leaves a gap in information that healthcare professionals need help fulfilling.

    "As consumers take a more active role in managing their own health and wellness, they are increasingly turning to healthcare professionals for guidance, including specific brand recommendations," said Linda Leikin, PULSE Health & Wellness Initiatives co-founder and c.e.o. "Manufacturers need to educate healthcare professionals about the health benefits of their brands just as much as they need to educate consumers."

    PULSE asked healthcare professionals to rate the health and wellness credentials of more than 50 brands that actively market to health-conscious consumers. Brands performing best in the eyes of healthcare professionals at meeting the needs of consumers included Kashi, with its line of natural food products; Fiber One Cereal and Bars from General Mills; and Kellogg's All-Bran.

    PULSE Health & Wellness Initiatives is based in Chapel Hill, N.C.

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