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Better-for-you Eating Trends: Spotlight on Real - US - September 2016

"When seeking better-for-you foods, consumers avoid certain elements in their diets, chiefly artificial ingredients of all forms, and express a general distrust of genetically modified ingredients. At the same time, many consumers are seeking foods with added health attributes, namely protein, fiber, and whole grains. Brands have focused product innovation largely on low/no-allergen foods in recent years, and there appears to be opportunity for added-health attributes to appeal to health-conscious consumers."

- William Roberts, Jr Senior Food & Drink Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Obesity, overweight statistics increase
  • Traits consumers are avoiding
  • Generations avoiding artificial
  • Trust of on-pack claims

Consumers may not have ever exactly sought out foods and ingredients described as artificial, but today's health-conscious consumer is actively avoiding products with elements described as "artificial" altogether. Virtually across all generations, consumers avoid artificial sweeteners, owing in large part to a growing concern about the impact of sweets on obesity and related health problems. However, as consumers become increasingly aware of the artificial sweeteners in a range of products found in the grocery store (including but not limited to breads, sauces, and beverages), the concern about artificial sweeteners could permeate grocery aisles.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Obesity, overweight statistics increase
            • Figure 1: Trends in obesity prevalence among adults aged 20 and over (age-adjusted) and youth aged 2-19 years: US, 1999-2000 through 2013-14
          • Traits consumers are avoiding
            • Figure 2: Avoiding in better-for-you foods, June 2016
          • Generations avoiding artificial
            • Figure 3: Avoiding in better-for-you foods, by generation, June 2016
          • Trust of on-pack claims
            • Figure 4: Trust of on-pack claims, June 2016
          • Genetic modification failing to resonate
            • Figure 5: Opinion of genetically modified foods, by household income, June 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Healthy traits consumers seek
              • Figure 6: Seeking in better-for-you foods, June 2016
            • Protein of interest to younger consumers, whole grains more to older
              • Figure 7: Seeking in better-for-you foods, by generation, June
            • Vegetarian options of notable interest to weight maintainers
              • Figure 8: Seeking in better-for-you foods, by dieting status, June 2016
            • Health claim interest increases with larger families
              • Figure 9: Attitudes toward BFY foods, by presence of children in the household, June 2016
            • What it means
            • Market Perspective

              • Consumers appear to associate organic with health
                • Figure 10: Percent change in natural supermarket sales of organic foods and beverages in selected categories, 2012-14
            • Market Factors

              • Obesity, overweight statistics increase
                • Figure 11: Trends in obesity prevalence among adults aged 20 and over (age-adjusted) and youth aged 2-19 years: US, 1999-2000 through 2013-14
                • Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey/Mintel
              • New FDA nutritional guidelines
                • Modifying the genetically modified
                  • Natural confusion
                    • The FDA
                      • The USDA
                        • The FTC
                          • The TTB
                            • Lack of definition leads to natural lawsuits
                            • What’s Available to BFY Consumers?

                              • Allergen claims top launches
                                  • Figure 13: Top five claims on food products introduced in the US, 2013-16
                                • Snacks stake claims
                                    • Figure 14: Top categories with new products introductions featuring free-from claims*, 2013-16
                                  • Snacks carry the most added-health claims
                                    • Figure 15: Categories with most added-health claims among product introductions*, 2012-16
                                    • Figure 16: Most popular added-health claims* in US food introductions, 2012-16
                                  • Environmental health leads natural claims
                                      • Figure 17: Most popular categories by number of US introductions with natural claims*, 2014-16
                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                    • Local and fresh equate to health
                                      • Protein and whole grains of most interest to all generations
                                        • Consumers largely equate unprocessed with healthy
                                          • GM proponents not swaying consumers
                                            • Dads seek health help
                                              • Households with children looking to avoid sweeteners
                                                • Hispanics looking to avoid artificial
                                                  • Opportunity for diet foods perceived as healthy
                                                    • Sweeteners lead ingredients avoided
                                                    • Overall Health Perceptions

                                                      • Food’s impact physically and emotionally
                                                        • Figure 18: Impact of diet on consumer wellbeing, June 2016
                                                      • Consumer attitudes toward healthy food
                                                        • Figure 19: Attitudes toward BFY foods, June 2016
                                                      • Traits consumers are avoiding
                                                        • Figure 20: Avoiding in better-for-you foods, June 2016
                                                      • Healthy traits consumers seek
                                                        • Figure 21: Seeking in better-for-you foods, June 2016
                                                      • Impact of claims on purchase
                                                        • Vegetarian/vegan claims
                                                          • GM
                                                            • Organic
                                                              • Natural
                                                                • Figure 22: Attitudes toward BFY claims, June 2016
                                                              • Local a key attribute ascribed to healthy food
                                                                • Figure 23: Opinions of BFY foods, correspondence map, June 2016
                                                              • Healthy foods must deliver on their promise
                                                                • Figure 24: Attributes on purchase/behavior, June 2016
                                                              • Trust of on-pack claims
                                                                • Figure 25: Trust of on-pack claims, June 2016
                                                              • Healthy at the opposite end of the spectrum from processed
                                                                • Figure 26: Permissible foods, correspondence map, June 2016
                                                            • Generational Health Perceptions

                                                              • Tying experience to emotional wellbeing
                                                                • Figure 27: Impact of diet on consumer wellbeing, by generation, June 2016
                                                              • Guiding generations toward healthier options
                                                                • Figure 28: Attitudes toward BFY foods, by generation, June 2016
                                                              • Generations avoiding artificial
                                                                • Figure 29: Avoiding in better-for-you foods, by generation, June 2016
                                                              • Protein of interest to younger consumers, whole grains more to older
                                                                • Figure 30: Seeking in better-for-you foods, by generation, June
                                                              • Interest in plant-based foods
                                                                • Figure 31: Attitudes toward BFY claims, by generation, June 2016
                                                              • Free-from claims and health
                                                                • Figure 32: Opinions of BFY foods, by generation, June 2016
                                                              • Possible confusion about health needs
                                                                • Figure 33: Attributes on purchase/behavior, by generation, June 2016
                                                              • General distrust of dietary claims
                                                                • Figure 34: Trust of on-pack claims, by generation, June 2016
                                                              • Interest in local slightly outweighs interest in functional
                                                                • Figure 35: Permissible foods, by generation, June 2016
                                                              • GM foods largely unappreciated
                                                                • Figure 36: Less-suitable foods, by generation, June 2016
                                                            • Health Perceptions Differ by Race

                                                              • White consumer interest in serving sizes, Black consumers concerned about artificial
                                                                • Figure 37: Attitudes toward BFY foods, by race, June 2016
                                                              • Avoiding the sweet
                                                                • Figure 38: Avoiding in better-for-you foods, by race, June 2016
                                                              • Consumers seeking protein
                                                                • Figure 39: Seeking in better-for-you foods, by race, June 2016
                                                              • Challenges for natural claims
                                                                • Figure 40: Attitudes toward BFY claims, by race, June 2016
                                                              • Unprocessed aligns more with healthy food
                                                                • Figure 41: Opinions of BFY foods, by race, June 2016
                                                              • Ancient grains of particular interest to White, Other races
                                                                • Figure 42: Permissible foods, by race, June 2016
                                                              • Artificial elements fail to resonate with consumers
                                                                • Figure 43: Less-suitable foods, by race, June 2016
                                                            • Income on Health Perceptions

                                                              • Serving sizes of notable interest to higher incomes
                                                                • Figure 44: Attitudes toward BFY foods, by household income, June 2016
                                                              • HFCS of particular concern to low-income households
                                                                • Figure 45: Avoiding in better-for-you foods, by household income, June 2016
                                                              • Genetic modification failing to resonate
                                                                  • Figure 46: Attitudes toward BFY claims, by household income, June 2016
                                                                  • Figure 47: Opinion of genetically modified foods, by household income, June 2016
                                                                • Free-from linked to healthy food
                                                                  • Figure 48: Opinions of BFY foods, by household income, June 2016
                                                                • Lower-income groups regard their diets as less-healthy
                                                                  • Figure 49: Attributes on purchase/behavior, by household income, June 2016
                                                              • Parents and Health

                                                                • Parents less likely to equate diet and emotional/physical health
                                                                  • Figure 50: Impact of diet on consumer wellbeing, by parental status by gender, June 2016
                                                                • Dads more likely to seek food with health claims
                                                                  • Figure 51: Attitudes toward BFY foods, by parental status by gender, June 2016
                                                                • Parents, nonparents alike looking to avoid sugar
                                                                  • Figure 52: Avoiding in better-for-you foods, by parental status by gender, June 2016
                                                                • Fathers interested in different positive healthy attributes
                                                                  • Figure 53: Seeking in better-for-you foods, by parental status by gender, June 2016
                                                                • On-pack claims of greater interest to dads
                                                                  • Figure 54: Attitudes toward BFY claims, by parental status by gender, June 2016
                                                                • Possible potential for healthy store brand among dads
                                                                  • Figure 55: Attributes on purchase/behavior, by parental status by gender, June 2016
                                                                • Regulatory approval resonates much more strongly with dads
                                                                  • Figure 56: Trust of on-pack claims, by parental status by gender, June 2016
                                                              • More Children in a Household Impacts Role of Health in Food

                                                                • Health claim interest increases with larger families
                                                                  • Figure 57: Attitudes toward BFY foods, by presence of children in the household, June 2016
                                                                • Households with children looking to avoid sweeteners
                                                                  • Figure 58: Avoiding in better-for-you foods, by presence of children in the household, June 2016
                                                                • Childless households more likely to seek added health benefits
                                                                  • Figure 59: Seeking in better-for-you foods, by presence of children in the household, June 2016
                                                                • Interest in natural surges with presence of more children
                                                                  • Figure 60: Attitudes toward BFY claims, by presence of children in the household, June 2016
                                                                • Consumers with younger children appreciate health claims
                                                                  • Figure 61: Attributes on purchase/behavior, by presence of children in the household, June 2016
                                                              • Hispanic Health Perceptions

                                                                • Hispanic parents feel slightly better about healthy choices for children
                                                                  • Figure 62: Impact of diet on consumer wellbeing, by Hispanic origin, June 2016
                                                                • Healthy claims resonate more among Hispanics
                                                                  • Figure 63: Attitudes toward BFY foods, by Hispanic origin, June 2016
                                                                • Hispanic consumers more likely to avoid artificial elements
                                                                  • Figure 64: Avoiding in better-for-you foods, by Hispanic origin, June 2016
                                                                • Hispanic organic motivation appears largely unrelated to health
                                                                  • Figure 65: Seeking in better-for-you foods, by Hispanic origin, June 2016
                                                                • Natural, organic largely describe healthy food
                                                                  • Figure 66: Opinions of BFY foods, by Hispanic origin, June 2016
                                                                • Only a third of Hispanics regard their diet as healthy
                                                                  • Figure 67: Attributes on purchase/behavior, by Hispanic origin, June 2016
                                                              • Dieting and Healthy Foods

                                                                • Dieting consumers unlikely to say their diet is healthy
                                                                  • Figure 68: Impact of diet on consumer wellbeing, by dieting status, June 2016
                                                                • Dieters avoiding artificial ingredients
                                                                  • Figure 69: Avoiding in better-for-you foods, by dieting status, June 2016
                                                                • Vegetarian options of notable interest to weight maintainers
                                                                  • Figure 70: Seeking in better-for-you foods, by dieting status, June 2016
                                                                • Serving sizes of notable interest to the weight conscious
                                                                  • Figure 71: Opinions of BFY foods, by dieting status, June 2016
                                                              • Consumers Avoiding Artificial

                                                                • Sweeteners among the leading ingredients consumers avoid
                                                                    • Figure 72: Avoiding artificial in better-for-you foods, by generation, June 2016
                                                                  • Other races avoiding artificial
                                                                    • Figure 73: Avoiding artificial in better-for-you foods, by race, June 2016
                                                                  • Parents avoiding sweeteners, whether artificial or not
                                                                    • Figure 74: Avoiding artificial in better-for-you foods, by parental status by gender, June 2016
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                      • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                          • Correspondence Analysis Methodology

                                                                              • Figure 75: Permissible foods, June 2016
                                                                              • Figure 76: Correspondence analysis – Food descriptions, June 2016

                                                                          Companies Covered

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                                                                          Better-for-you Eating Trends: Spotlight on Real - US - September 2016

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