In a world of ever-changing food trends, it can sometimes be hard to keep track of what’s new and what’s popular. However, in recent years, the “healthy foods” sensation has only continued to increase in popularity and has become the buzzword topic for both retailers and customers.
If you walk into any grocery store, the aisles are buzzing with labels that say the “healthy foods” lingo, such as “natural” or “non-GMO.” For example, you’ll find fruits, frozen meals, cans of food paste like peanut butter and so on labeled “organic” or with some sort of label that shows it’s been produced in a natural way.
Especially among the millennial generation, the words “healthy” and “organic” are repetitive mantras. For many, the “healthy” trend is not simply a trend, but in fact a lifestyle. Many retailers have caught on to the high demand for “healthy foods,” making the health lifestyle a mutual relationship.
In a report on the 2017 top food and ingredients trends by Innova Market Insights, it shows that companies are increasing products made with seeds or ingredients that are healthier and labels claiming, “no preservatives” or “rich in protein.”
As companies make healthier products for their target audience, they are also starting to think about the amount of sugar in their products. In the Innova Market Insights’ report, it mentioned how companies are feeling the pressure of sugar consumption and how big brands are removing a lot of the sugar from their beverages.
It also mentioned how 57% of consumers in the United States said that the amount of sugar in a beverage affects their purchasing decision.
Organic food is accessible nearly everywhere now
Due to high demand, organic food is accessible almost anywhere nowadays. They are no longer simply being offered in high end stores, but in discount grocery stores and warehouse/club stores. According to Nielsen, supermarkets, mass merchandisers and discount grocery stores combined make up a 25% share of organic spends.
A report in Nielsen showed that 88% of U.S. households have purchased something organic, whether it’s food, beverages or personal care.
Supermarkets such as Whole Foods and Harris Teeter fill their shelves with products that promise not only good quality, but with labels that fit the consumer’s ethic code.
Consumers are showing an interest in not only the product, but in the process of the product’s making. This makes the purchase of the product not simply a matter of necessity, but an emotional one, making the shopper’s experience a gratifying one. It gives the consumer a feeling that they are doing something good in terms of health and enjoying food that aligns with their values.
For example, after information about the treatment of chickens in some companies was released to the audience, many consumers did not want to continue the support of animal mistreatment. With labels claiming, “non-GMO” and “cage free,” consumers feel good about buying a product that fits with their personal beliefs and values.
Statistics show that when the consumer finds a product that is perfectly synthesized with their ethics, then they do not mind paying more for quality food. In a survey done by Statistica in 2015, studies showed that 46% percent of consumers age 18 to 34 years old were willing to pay more for healthier products.
According to the Organic Trade Association, organic sales hit $47 billion last year, in comparison to the $3.7 billion from the previous year.
Healthy lifestyles and eating trends show that consumers care what is going inside their body and care about certain aspects of products, such as the process in which it was made, the ingredients, the amounts of calories or sugar and other major factors that are influencing their purchase decisions.
In this way, “healthy foods” becomes a lifestyle for consumer and retailer, both endlessly influencing each other and creating a need that the other can fill. The consumer lets the retailer knows what they want and the retailer matches the customer’s need, as well as creating new products in line with what the consumer values and that the consumer decides they need. It becomes a mutual cycle and a beneficial relationship to both sides.