Despite food trends, consumers still struggle to make healthy choices
The recent boom of healthy and organic food products shows consumers understand the role food plays in their overall health, but they still have trouble improving their food selections.
While a majority of shoppers say they put some effort into healthy eating, only 34 percent are putting in “a lot” of effort to eat better, according to a recent study by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Rodale Inc.
Results of the 2016 Shopping for Health study reveal half of shoppers consider themselves overweight (51 percent) and say they need motivation to help them eat healthfully (48 percent). Three in four consumers say they switched to a healthier version of at least one type of food this year with yogurt, milk and bread the most common responses. In addition, shoppers are now buying more whole grain, high fiber, multigrain, all natural, low sodium and unprocessed whole foods.
“Many of the findings correlate with some of the broader movements and trends we have seen in the market, namely food as medicine, the importance of eating locally, and the shift from diet food to real, whole foods,” says Melanie Hansche, editor-in-chief of Rodale’s Organic Life. “The growth in organics also reflects the shift to authenticity and provenance that’s part of a bigger story.”
The study examines the ways in health and nutritional concerns affect food buying and eating decisions, and measures changes over time; it gauges food shoppers’ awareness, interests and attitudes regarding food, health and nutrition; it evaluates consumers’ efforts to manage eating and diets; and measures parents’ attitudes and activities regarding meals for children.