Marketing Assignment Question of correctly interpreting nutrition information

by Bella Williams October 25, 2016

What’s the problem? 

Obesity rates in Queensland continue to rise, with 65% of Queensland adults now overweight or obese. In 2007, obesity overtook tobacco as the leading cause of premature death. Obesity reduces the median age of survival by two to four years and, for the severely obese, it is reduced by eight to 10 years.
In 2011-12 Queensland had the highest rate of childhood obesity in the country, and the second highest rate of overweight and obesity (although both are not significantly different to national prevalence).
It was estimated that overweight and obesity cost the hospital system around $0.531 billion in 2011–12. When you include the impact it has beyond the healthcare system in lost wellbeing, the estimated impact on the Queensland economy is around $11.6 billion yearly.
Over the past five years, adult obesity has increased at double the national rate with 1 in 3 adults measuring obese and another 1 in 3 as overweight.

Queensland Health has been tasked with stabilising current levels of overweight and obesity and to begin to reverse the trend. The issue we face is how to begin changing unhealthy behaviours and unhealthy environments in order to effectively reverse this growing problem.
While overweight and obesity is a complex issue, there are a number of key recognised causes. One of which is an imbalance in energy (kilojoules) consumed with energy expended. While we need energy from food to keep our bodies working, kilojoules that aren’t used each day get stored as fat and result in weight gain. The widespread availability, marketing and consumption of energy dense nutrient poor (junk) foods and sugary drinks are a leading contributor to this energy in, energy out imbalance.
In an effort to reduce the consumption of energy dense, nutrient poor (junk) foods and drinks, the Queensland Government has recently introduced menu labelling legislation. The legislation requires fast food outlets, (those with 20 outlets in Queensland or 50 outlets nationally) to display the kilojoule content of all foods and drinks on their menus.
Kilojoule labelling legislation already exists in New South Wales and as a result many larger chains (i.e. McDonalds, KFC, Subway) have implemented this initiative nationally.


What is currently being done in Queensland?
In an effort to reduce the incidence of overweight and obesity in Queensland, Queensland health launched Healthier. Happier.
Healthier. Happier. is the umbrella brand which is used to deliver all messaging related to improving the diet, nutrition and lifestyle habits of Queenslanders. It was launched in 2013 following extensive formative research and concept testing. Healthier. Happier. campaign activity is designed to encourage everyone, regardless of size, to make small simple changes to their daily routine in order to improve their health.
Healthier. Happier. delivers these messages in a positive, supportive and inclusive manner and does not make reference to terms such as overweight or obesity. Ongoing evaluative tracking research has shown Healthier. Happier. has been successful in getting Queenslanders to start making healthier changes. Latest research (June 2015) shows the positive and inclusive approach taken by Healthier. Happier. is performing strongly across all segments on believability, appropriateness and memorability as well as providing clear ideas on what to do to improve health and fitness.
The Healthier. Happier. website is the main hub for all information, tools and resources relating to healthy lifestyles –
o 73% of visitors to the Healthier. Happier. website are female
o People aged 25 – 34 are the main users of the website (this is not split by gender)
o Those aged 18 -24 make up 16% of website visitors (this is not split by gender)

The Healthier. Happier. Facebook page is also used to communicate with our market on a regular basis –
o Women aged 18 – 24 are the primary users of the Healthier. Happier. Facebook page


The evidence for the problem
The average daily kJ intake for Australian teenage males (14-18) in the latest nutrition survey was 10,186.0 and for females (14-18) 8114.3 kJ. This was above the national guidelines for Australians males (9900) and females (7600).
Disadvantaged groups such as low income earners are less likely to buy products high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt .
Target market
Adolescents are the highest consumers of fast-food and soft drink in Queensland. Those aged 16-17 years (59%, ~198,000 people), 12-15 years (48%, ~116,000 people). Those living in regional and metro Queensland have the greatest/easiest access to large fast food chains, however this still remains a problem for those in rural/remote Queensland, although access is limited and legislation will not apply to small chains / independent fast food suppliers.

The adolescent market should be broken down further to ensure that the strategy developed meets the specific needs of a particular group. Research has identified the following possible segments within each of the two demographic markets, students should select one.
• Females aged 14-18 years
• Males aged 14-18 years
• Teenagers aged 14-18 years from low socio-economic backgrounds

What we need you to do?
To develop a social marketing campaign which will help one of the segments within the adolescent market to use and correctly interpret nutrition information (kJ labelling) on fast-food menus, encouraging and enabling them to make healthier choices at point of sale in an effort to reduce/consider their daily kilojoule consumption. Thus this campaign aims to increase kilojoule literacy amongst adolescents.

What we know about young consumers aged 14 – 17



  • More likely to engage in very regular snacking between meals i.e. to/from school/ training/ sport/ work commitments and with friends, etc. – commonly from a McDonalds type chain e.g. McFlurrys, frozen coke, nuggets, hash browns
  • Consumption is independent and enabled by parents – as well as by schools/ sporting clubs/ etc.
  • Fast food outlets serve as ‘hang out’ spaces – cheaper food items can be consumed over time
  • Key drivers for fast foo
  • Taste – they ‘like’ it
  • Affordability – for cheaper snack/meal items
  • Social factor
    Barriers/ consequences
    Typically teenagers 14-17 are mainly concerned with immediate consequences, but have cognizance of short and long term consequences


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