Consumers Face the New Fear Factor

The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), the leading provider of strategic consulting, consumer insights and market research services for the health, wellness and sustainability marketplace, today expanded on one of the key trends it has identified as having a significant impact in 2007 and beyond.

As scandals across religious, government, and corporate institutions began the erosion of trust in the 1990s, the explosion of widespread technology in a post 9/11 world continues to heighten tension in our fear-based society. As a result, consumers are attempting to take ever-greater control of their environment, property, time and safety.

While a wide range of societal fears are on the rise, fear of global warming and climate change showed the greatest increases in the past year. The recent media attention to climate change appears to be turning our attention from personal and social fears to planetary fears.

According to NMI President Maryellen Molyneaux, 'As a result of mounting external factors, including growing concerns about food safety, climate change and a reliance on fossil fuels, consumers appear to be 'shutting down'. Our research indicates that while consumers are driven by their desire for control, they often relate that they feel their lives are simply out of control.'

This has translated into a consumer desire to control things within their grasp. For example, the pursuit of safer foods and beverages, organic and environmentally-friendly products, local farms and familiarity with the source of products used is an attempt to reassure ourselves that we have some control over our safety and destiny. Fifty-five percent of consumers agree that organic foods and beverages are safer for the environment and 43% agree that they are safer to eat than non-organic foods. Manufacturers and retailers have the opportunity to build market share by clearly understanding the emotional need for control borne out of The New Fear Factor.

NMIç—´ top ten trends of 2007are based on data and insight from a variety of NMI proprietary databases, including the Health & Wellness Trends Database.

NMI is a strategic consulting, market research, and business development company specializing in health, wellness and sustainability. For more information on NMIç—´ proprietary research reports and services, visit NMI's web site at