The bottom line

Back in the office after the sunniest of Bank Holidays and it’s with a bleary-eyed view that I read that British consumers care more about how healthy their food and drinks are compared to five years ago.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) revealed this in a survey by KPMG.

What’s more, consumers also say that a product’s brand is the main source they choose to determine how healthy products are.

What an opportunity for those brands. One of their jobs now is to guide consumers in the right direction over what they determine as healthy, and the health claims around certain ingredients.

Branding wins out when asked about which sources inform consumer perceptions of healthy food and drink generally. Forty per cent of respondents said they based it on the product’s brand. Only 22% said they based it on government advice.

When looking at a product for nutritional insight, half of respondents said they use the list of ingredients, or the traffic light labelling system to inform their choices. Forty per cent said they use the calorie content, however 37% based their decisions on price, and 28% based it on the look of the product.

Linda Ellett, UK head of consumer markets at KPMG, said the increased consumer demand for healthier products clearly presents businesses with an avenue for growth.

She notes, too, that healthier consumer goods are a key trend shaping both inorganic and organic growth for these businesses.

Her warning that losing sight of how much trust consumers place in brands or a product’s health claims should be heeded.

At a time when consumers say they want to be fully informed, brands need look no further than their suppliers (and their audiences). They can help spread their message in a more natural-feeling way. They can also identify better with that message and are more interested in the topics consumers find palatable.

The survey of more than 2,000 consumers highlights that the health agenda continues to grow amongst British consumers. 64% of female consumers said they care more about the health impact of their diet than five years ago, slightly more than their male counterparts, 60% of whom said the same.

It’s worth putting my assumptions about diet, health, and yes, drinking to one side.

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