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A Healthy Diet A bit of what you like does you good!

INCREASED MEDIA COVERAGE, FAST FOOD FRIVOLITY and 'FREE-FROM' options... future thinking INVESTIGATE THE STATE OF THE NATION'S HEALTH.

We dive into our Grocery Eye study results to see what's going on in the UK with consumer attitudes to healthy eating and how it is defined across the generations.

In 2018, a third of consumers rate themselves 8-10 out of 10 for the health of their diet, an increase of 5% compared to 2017.

GREAT NEWS, WE'RE FEELING HEALTHIER! BUT IS THAT TRUE FOR EVERYONE?

We’ve also seen an increase in those rating the health of their diet as 1-5 (out of 10), now at 26% (up 8%, from 18% last year). This is especially apparent among millennials.

THE volume of HEALTHY EATING MESSAGES MAY BE REACHING SATURATION POINT

In the last 12 months, media coverage on foods, drinks and healthy eating has shown a lessening impact on consumer diets and the foods they choose, with those citing ‘no impact’ having increased from 40% to 54%.

WE'RE HAPPIER WITH OUR DIETARY LIFESTYLES

Fewer consumers have been on a diet in the last 12 months (48% compared to 54% this time last year) - a signal that people are now generally slightly 'happier' with their lifestyle and don't feel the pressure to change.

SUGAR AND FAST-FOOD ARE ON THE UP

We’re seeing slightly greater acceptance of sugar as an ingredient in food than we did a year ago and increasing consumption of takeaways and eating out. Overall, convenience and being on-the-go are increasingly influencing meal choices - at the expense of health - contributing to this shift in attitudes and behaviours.

These trends are most apparent among our 16-34s. This subgroup are seemingly least engaged in the sugar debate, less likely to buy low sugar and low fat foods compared to a year ago, and have higher levels of takeaway consumption.

FREE-FROM PRESENTS AN ALTERNATIVE health RATIONALE

With a third of consumers considering 'free from' products to be healthier than regular versions, and similar numbers saying that following a plant-based diet is important to them – ‘healthy eating’ is now defined more widely than simply sugar and fat.

Also increasing is the active checking for dairy-free (8%), gluten-free (9%), and vegan (6%) products.

WE'RE SEEING A MORE FRAGMENTED PICTURE IN TERMS OF ATTITUDES TO HEALTHY EATING AND HOW IT IS DEFINED ACROSS THE GENERATIONS.

Manufacturers and retailers will, more so than ever, need to develop different strategies to drive their relevance across the population, targeting consumer subgroups with advertising and product ranges bespoke to their audience needs.

All the while remembering there is potential for a healthy diet revolt, as consumers become weary of the plethora of healthy eating messages, and choose to eat what they like, albeit in smaller portions.

Data comes from The Grocery Eye, our annual online study that examines the shopping habits of 2,000 supermarket shoppers to identify attitudes and behaviours towards purchasing food and drink.

Credits:

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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