Market for healthy food set for continued growth

The market for food seen as “good for you” is set for continued growth, according to a recent report by market analysts Nielsen. 

The company’s Global Health & Wellness Survey found that 79% of respondents around the world are making conscious decisions to purchase food that will help prevent diabetes, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol and other health conditions. 

41% of survey participants around the world said they plan to buy more fruit in the six months to come, while 39% plan to buy more vegetables, while 25% plan to purchase more fish and seafood, 24% more yogurt, 23% more water and 22% more nuts and seeds. 

A majority, 76% of respondents around the world, stated that they are willing to pay more for food with health benefits. 

Susan Dunn, executive vice president of global professional services at Nielsen, said: "Health is going mainstream, consumers around the globe are searching for better, healthier and smarter solutions that fit their lifestyle and specific needs."

However, the survey also found that the food and beverage industry needs to do more when it comes to being clear about the ingredients products contain and the alleged benefits they have. 

63% of participants said they don’t trust health claims on food packaging, with the figures being lower in North America, at 56%, and Europe, at 51%. 

Nielsen advised that “the industry must be more transparent about the content and source of foods, providing stronger scientific support for health claims to build consumer trust”. Three quarters of consumers, globally, say they read food packaging labels carefully. 

64% of consumers shop at food outlets specialising in healthy nutrition products, with the figure higher in younger age groups. 

69% of Generation Z and 70% of Millennial respondents said they shop at speciality food retailers, compered to 51% of baby boomers and 43% of the Silent Generation – those born in the 1920s to 1940s.