The Dating Game

By Rebecca Wright, Editor | March 1, 2012

Dating websites are today’s answer to finding love in all the right places. In fact, 30 million people in the U.S. are currently going online to find a mate, fueling a $2 billion industry that barely existed a decade ago.

While well-known sites like Match.com and eHarmony.com have cemented their legacy in cyberspace’s dating game, it seems the niche websites are getting their share of attention these days too. There are sites for Baby Boomers (boomercupid.com), bikers (bikerkiss.com), even adulterers (ashleymadison.com). It’s all about customizing your search to find the perfect match—an imperative when you’re looking for love.

The same can be said for health—there is no one-size-fits-all approach. And just as finding success in love relies heavily on connecting with the right person, the first step in creating a successful health product is knowing your consumer.

In the case of antioxidants, different consumer groups are attracted to these free-radical fighters for a variety of reasons. Women are largely interested in antioxidants for preventative purposes, while Boomers seek them out to ward off the negative effects of aging. This is where condition-specific antioxidants come in. There’s cranberry for urinary tract health, lutein for skin and eye health and lycopene for prostate health—pretty much something for everyone.

According to this issue’s contributing writer, Mark Crawford, who authored our annual antioxidant update, consumers “get it.” By that he means antioxidants continue to resonate well with consumers despite the tough spending decisions they had to make during the “Great Recession.” In fact, antioxidants are among the top five health components that U.S. consumers want in their food products, as revealed in a recent Food Marketing Institute survey.

But for those who haven’t found the perfect match, in a mate or with antioxidants, perhaps they should consider getting a pet. In 2011 alone, the number of U.S. households that own a pet swelled to an all-time high of 73 million.

Phil Brown of NutriVet, author of our pet nutrition story, said retail sales reached $55 billion in 2010 and were expected to hit almost $60 billion by the end of 2011—a far cry from 2001 total pet sales of $28.5 billion. “Although the growth rate of the pet industry moderated during the recession, most pet owners value the comfort and health of their dogs and cats more than ever and are willing to buy more than just the basics.”

Still, it’s not easy being a pet owner. There are many hard decisions to be made, including which organic snacks to feed your furry friend and which supplements will ease their aches and pains. But where can pet lovers turn for advice? Maybe the dating website petpeoplemeet.com can help.

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