A new study from Levercliff, category consultants to the food and drink industry, has found that just under a third of adults in the United Kingdom are making a conscious decision to make a lifestyle change to positively impact their health, with a further 16 million people willing to consider it. This all comes at a time when legislation and regulations surrounding health in the food and drink sector are under scrutiny and tightening.
The restrictions due to be set on advertising and volume promotions for high fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS) foods will now be staggered, with in-store volume deals being delayed to January 2023 and advertising pushed to January 2024. Levercliff’s study – which polled over 1,000 people in April 2022 – found that more people are reverting away from perceived‘ unhealthy foods’, with 35% cutting down on sweet snacks, an increase of 15%from October 2021. Instead, they are opting to eating more vegetables (40%),combined with other healthy lifestyle factors, such as increasing exercise(45%) and cooking from scratch more (31%).
Health priorities differ depending on age. For example, 18 – 34-year-olds and 55+ year-olds age groups both focus on not consuming too much sugar, while 35 – 54-year-olds are ensuring they eat their ‘five-a-day’. However, it is apparent – across the board – all shoppers are willing to reduce personal calorie intake.
As consumers become increasingly knowledgeable about how diet can impact overall health, the product sending up on UK dinner plates is changing dramatically. 73% of meat eaters have made changes to their choices over the last 12 months. 26% of respondents have switched to eating more chicken, with 20% reducing the amount of cooked processed meat and 18% reducing the amount of red meat they eat. What’s more, an increasing number of consumers are adopting more plant-based lifestyles too – 29.7 million UK adults now have at least a partial vegetarian or plant-based diet.
Fintan O’Leary, Managing Director of Levercliff, comments:
Our study clearly shows how consumers are re-evaluating their lifestyles and shining a spotlight on their overall health and wellbeing with diet playing a large role in this. While the HFSS legislation has been delayed, it’s clear that consumers want to make healthier choices and producers should be listening to what consumers are saying, not just the rule-makers. By taking a deep dive into the data, producers can gain a real understanding of what their target audience wants. This can be used to review existing product lines, develop NPD, and create bespoke marketing and sales activations.