Why Consumers WANT Healthy Food and WHY They Will Pay More For It

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Keeping with the health trends of the mid-2010s, today’s food manufacturers have recently vowed to keep supermarkets around the country stocked with natural, vitamin-packed selections. As a matter of fact, Euromonitor, the British-based market research company, has estimated that sales of healthy food products around the world should reach $1 trillion as early as 2017. The category is picking up some serious steam after dipping in the market during previous decades, and health-conscious eating is now considered much more than a passing fad.
This has recently been noted after Nielsen conducted its 2015 Global Health & Wellness Survey. The study polled over 30,000 people online worldwide, and it provided substantial evidence that, globally, consumers have shifted their mindset when it comes to healthy foods. 88% of those polled have indicated that they would be more than willing to pay extra for gourmet food products that promote weight loss and healthy living.

Here are some enlightening statistics that the survey uncovered:

– 41% of those dubbed Generation Z, or those currently under the age of 20, say that they would be willing to pay a premium in exchange for healthier food products. 32% of the Millennial generation, or those currently aged 21 to 34, as well as 21% of the Baby Boomers (those born between 1945 and 1964) agree with their sentiment.

– Across the board, many respondents prefer any type of functional food, such as those high in protein (32%), high in fiber (36%), fortified with calcium (30%), whole grains (30%), vitamins (30%) or minerals (29%).

– Pretty much any food product that promotes good health and disease prevention has resonated with those that were surveyed. 80% of those questioned state that they actively employ healthy foods as a defense against medical conditions such as high cholesterol, obesity and type II diabetes.

– All demographics have agreed that natural foods that are GMO-free and lack artificial flavors and coloring are the most desirable.

– Coincidentally, Nielsen reports that products labeled as “all natural” have seen a 24% growth in sales and organic products experienced an increase of 28% in sales in the time that the study was being conducted.

Those responsible for the survey believe that the contemporary interest in using food to manage health issues may be contributing to the overall trend. However, they also believe that the interest can also be contributed to newer standards in corporate transparency regarding the health claims of food manufacturers. However, at this point in time, an astonishing 63% of consumers in 60 countries (excluding the U.S. and the U.K.) have indicated that they are still skeptical about such claims, so marketers are going to have to work overtime to earn back global trust.

At the Consumer Analyst Group of NY conference in February, many food companies have gone out of their way to display that they have heard the message loud and clear. For example, Campbell’s, famous for its soup products, has announced that they are preparing to launch a line of soups made exclusively from USDA-certified organic ingredients and shelf-stable vegetable juices. Additionally, the new variety will not contain any artificial ingredients or added sugars.

Representatives from Mondelez, a large conglomerate that encompasses the Kraft, Cadbury and Nabisco brands, spoke about their new acquisition of the healthy brand, Enjoy Life Foods. Enjoy Life manufactures products for those that prefer GMO or gluten-free foods and for those that have allergies. This recent addition has increased their stake in the anti-allergen market to approximately 30%. Even perennial cereal manufacturer General Mills has cited the health sector as a major draw after bringing in an estimated $8.8 billion in US retail sales in 2014, with a predicted $10.6 billion growth in 2015. After all, the company rolled out varieties of gluten-free Cheerios this past July.

In conclusion, the public has voiced its opinion and retailers and food manufacturers understand that they are willing to pay extra to get what they want. At this point in time, people are not just voicing that they want to eat better; they are actually walking the walk, so any food companies that are not willing to keep up with demand will probably suffer the financial consequences.

 

Erika Kauffman is the General Manager and Partner and NY based PR firm 5WPR. 5W Public Relations has offices in NYC, Los Angeles and Denver.

 

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