Now more than ever it is essential that businesses accept and adapt to the recent changes in food preferences, particularly in light of the fact that the public is becoming more informed about what is going into its foods.
Over the past five years healthy eating has seen an exponential surge in popularity; I cant speak for everyone but I know this is even evident within my own eating habits. From the perspective of any self-respecting food retailer, this should be regarded with upmost importance. Customer habits and trends should be the most influential piece of data with regards to what businesses stock. Below I will highlight how the food market is changing.
Whilst different studies produce varying results, it has been stated that approximately 80% of consumers claim healthy eating is an important aspect of their purchasing decisions. Presumably, this has something to do with the increased awareness of the consequences neglecting your diet can cause.
The United Kingdom government have recently put together a healthier eating agenda in order to tackle the much publicized rise in UK obesity. They are making efforts to get companies to sign calorie reduction and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption pledges. Alongside this pressure there have also been campaigns including Change4Life, by the National Health Service, a publicly funded healthcare system in the UK, which has brought the bad stuff that has been going into foods to peoples attention, mostly through primetime awareness advertising on T.V.
In the United States severe obesity still affects over 15.5 million adult Americans; the World Health Organization reports that 98% of these adults do not feel that they are being helped. However, there are also initiatives put into place to counter the escalating dilemma the Healthy Food Financing Initiative being just one of them. This initiative was put into place by the Obama administration and supported by the First Lady Michelle Obamas Lets Move! campaign. It called for more than $400 million in investments for bringing healthy foods to underserved communities proactively improving the demand and supply of nutritious foods.
Unhealthy Food Substitutes
Business owners are beginning to capitalize on this health conscious culture because we are also seeing a massive increase in healthier versions of extremely popular foods.
Food Labels and Contents
It has also been stated that not only are foods being packaged with more detailed information regarding saturated salts and fats, but the overall amount of saturated fats, salt and calories in food was stated to have fallen drastically in recent years. People are becoming more food literate, so as they become more knowledgeable regarding what is in their food it becomes more important.
Resurgence of Local Foods
Our health conscious culture has been cited as one of the many reasons why local foods have also seen a resurgence of popularity, they are, generally speaking, said to contain more nutrients. Large scale non-organic foods use synthetically fertilized soil which means less nutritional value.
Finally, I want to approach the tricky topic of moral obligation. I recently read an article on the BBC site, stating that less than one in five of us eat our recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, as recommended by the Department of Health. Much of the reasoning behind this is how busy our lifestyles are; we are too busy to exercise and too busy to put much thought into our meals. With that in mind I feel like businesses should work to provide us with an expansive selection of healthy foods, making it easier than ever to eat well even in the midst of a hectic lifestyle. Of course I wouldnt be able to recommend healthy goods so wholeheartedly if it didnt also make sense from a business perspective.
As someone that works in conjunction with Zummo London - commercial juicer suppliers I have seen first-hand how the demand in the market is changing and urge business owners to jump on the healthy bandwagon.