It seems more and more evident that healthier eating is a major consumer motive, and health and wellness are going mainstream. Consumers around the world are becoming more health conscious.
Motivations for purchasing healthier products and services lie in dieting and weight management as well as in treating or preventing illness. Consumers are increasingly proactive in their approach to healthy consumption in last years because of more availability of data and information. Desire to live longer and healthier lives has an impact on raising concern on health and wellness. Moreover, unhealthful nutrition and obesity as a result are directly related to rising costs on health insurance, as we see in example of U.S.
Source: Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America
Obesity costs Americans more and more in health care spending
However, consumers are taking more steps to tackle high cholesterol or to reduce their risk of disease. Dietary restrictions and preferences are also driving purchase decisions. Growing public concern about widespread use of pesticides, antibiotic- resistant bacteria and hormones contributes to the trend towards naturalness of food products.
Well-informed, health-aware consumers are increasingly seeking out healthier products and choose a dairy product based upon ingredients list.
Furthermore, shift in consumer behavior is connected with environmental and socioeconomic concerns. People share value concerning environmental protection and sustainability. In addition, local organic producers and their production are very desirable. More and more consumers fill their basket with organic and natural products labelled as environmentally friendly.
However, income influences eating habits and people’s willingness to buy fresh, natural and minimally processed food. High-income households and middle class are selective food and drink shoppers and willing to pay a premium for health claims. However, low-income households are aware of importance of taking control of their own health, but have to get the most out of the product they buy. As a result, not only the largest retailers and supermarkets are offering a diverse range of organic and healthy options, but also smaller and budget retailers and e-commerce are one of a distributing channel for organic suppliers. A variety of the distribution channels is designed to appeal both to the customers willingly pay more and cost-conscious consumers.
Income gap is affecting our eating habits and health
Moreover, buying habits concerning health consumption and healthier eating are redefining food culture and marketplace, and food companies tend to apply adaptive strategies. However, this influence is a two-way street. Companies influence buying patterns and show that their products and services have a positive impact on health and environment. Many visionary food companies stimulate responsible consumption and encourage consumers to make sustainable buying choices by providing ethical consumerism campaigns and educational approaches. Fast food companies and chains are also taking note of wellness lifestyle and increasing health consumption.
Adaptability is the key in winning in a rapidly changing market
The companies change the way they create food and reformulate its products. The fast food chains add healthy menus choices in the face of threats by losing consumer and in order to attract additional audience. Growing interest in healthy fast food leads to establishing of new healthy food chains.
In addition, clean labeling is essential in rebuilding relations between food campaigns and consumers that are interested in productions methods and ingredients. Furthermore, kosher and halal food producers catch up the trend and expand their audience. Kosher and halal food business has huge potential in capturing non-Jewish and non-Muslim as target market due to the strict ingredient labeling for their food, guarantee the hygiene and cleanliness as well as animal welfare.
Thus, consumers acknowledge an implicit connection between their health condition and what they eat. Consumer food choice behavior towards healthier eating represents a huge opportunity for food business and retailers to lead a healthy movement. Healthy choice marketing is becoming increasingly important.