Strong growth for UK health groceries market, according to new report

The UK health groceries market is worth £20 billion, growing at four times the rate of the grocery sector as a whole, according to new data.

A report by Kantar Worldpanel, which analyses consumer behaviour, found that 38% of UK meals now feature an ingredient specifically chosen for health reasons. 

This has doubled since 1980, when the figure was 19%. Nearly two-thirds of consumers, 62%, said they are “fairly” or “very” concerned about sugar consumption.

This figure increased by a massive 41% between 2015 and 2016 and the concern is reflected in the sales of sugary products. 

The amount of sugar in consumers’ take-home shopping decreased 1.8% in the last year, with soft drink sales declining by 8.6%

However, UK consumers’ shopping baskets still contain too much sugar, according to Kantar. The company’s The Serious Business of Health report reveals that “sugar bought in take-home baskets alone amounts to 110g per person per day”.

This surpasses UK Government nutritional guidelines, which cap sugar intake at 90g a day. Products labelled low-calorie or diet –previously viewed as healthy options by consumers – are now losing favour.

Although still worth a generous £2.7bn, the diet market saw a year-on-year decline of 4.2% between 2015 and 2016. This, the report states, is partly because “convenience shopping” tends to be focused on breakfast and dinner, seen as key meals from a health point of view.

The report was compiled on the basis of 4,000 households on Kantar’s consumption panel and 30,000 households on its shopper panel.