17th September 2019
The Evolution of Nutrition
The concept of nutrition is evolving amongst consumers as they take a more holistic approach to health and wellness. Indeed, nutrition is no longer around maintaining a healthy waistline and avoiding “dietary evils” such as sugar and salt. Instead, consumers are seeking out products that offer genuine nutrition in the form of health-boosting benefits. This is true regardless of eating a formal meal or enjoying an informal snacking occasion for indulgence purposes. Products need to offer taste and nutrition simultaneously. This is because consumers are recognizing that all elements of health are interlinked, and nutrition is integral to this.
FMCG Gurus research of 26,000 consumers conducted in Q3 2019 across twenty-six countries shows that overall, 61% of consumers say that they have looked to improve their health over the last two years. When it comes to specific steps to improve health, consumers are more likely to say that they have “attempted to improve their diet” (40%) than they have “looked to lose weight” (35%). This shows that health is no longer associated with words and phrases such as diet and weight loss. Instead, health is associated directly with nutrition, as consumers not only look to avoid certain ingredients but to also absorb others.
Overall, consumers across the globe are not happy with their health and wellness. Weight is the area where consumers are least likely to be satisfied, with only 26% indicating some form of satisfaction. In comparison, consumers are most likely to satisfied with their bone and joint health (49%). However, the research shows that there is no area of health that most consumers are satisfied. Given that consumers are adopting a concept of holistic health and believing that all aspects of health are interlinked, it shows that more attention than ever is being given to nutrition in diets.
When it comes to ingredients, consumers tend to adopt a two-pronged strategy. That is, they look to avoid ingredients that they deem detrimental to their health and seek out food and drink products that contain ingredients that offer genuine nutritional value. When it comes to avoidance, consumers look to minimize their intake of artificial ingredients that offer no nutritional value. They also look to avoid “dietary evils” such as sugar with which they associate with weight gain and the risk of diabetes. FMCG Gurus research shows that of those consumers who have looked to improve their diet in the last twelve months:
• 58% have looked to reduce their intake of sugar
• 35% have looked to reduce their intake of additives
• 32% have looked to reduce their intake of salt
• 26% have looked to reduce their intake of artificial ingredients.
• 24% have looked to reduce their intake of fat
In terms of ingredients that offer nutritional value, consumers want products that are natural and contain ingredients that offer a health boost. FMCG Gurus research shows that 73% of consumers want food and drink products to be 100% natural. When questioned why, 61% said because such products are healthy. This means that consumers want products with few ingredients as possible and for product labeling to offer total transparency when it comes to ingredient content to validate natural claims.
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