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Consumer Attitudes towards Functional Food and Drink - UK - February 2013

“While this greater regulation is intended to clarify the picture for consumers, as 58% of adults think that functional claims are exaggerated/misleading, it may in fact fail to do so in the short term, if brands continue to use consumer expectations of ingredients to their advantage.”
– Chris Wisson, Senior Drinks Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What impact have the new regulations had on functional claims?
  • How can functional brands engage consumers by combating scepticism?
  • How can operators target the next generation of functional users?
  • Can functional brands also be positioned as delivering on taste?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Excluded
          • Superfoods
            • Additional exclusions
              • Abbreviations
              • Executive Summary

                  • Market factors
                    • EFSA enforces new crackdown on functional claims
                      • NPD sticks to the safe route
                        • Regular usage of functional products slide
                          • Consumer confidence continues to flatline
                            • Population changes provide opportunities
                              • Companies: innovation and brand communication
                                • The consumer
                                  • Fruit juices/juice drinks/cordials are popular functional categories
                                    • Figure 1: Purchase of different types of functional food and drink, November 2012
                                    • Figure 2: Frequency of using functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                  • Maintaining a healthy heart is the main motivator for using functional products
                                    • Figure 3: Motivations for using functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                  • High awareness of the most widely used functional ingredients
                                    • Widespread scepticism of functional products’ credentials
                                      • Figure 4: Attitudes towards functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                    • What we think
                                    • Issues in the Market

                                        • What impact have the new regulations had on functional claims?
                                          • How can functional brands engage consumers by combating scepticism?
                                            • How can operators target the next generation of functional users?
                                              • Can functional brands also be positioned as delivering on taste?
                                              • Trend Application

                                                  • Many Mes
                                                    • FSTR/HYPR
                                                      • 2015 trend: Old Gold
                                                      • Internal Market Environment

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Occasional usage of functional products on the rise
                                                            • Figure 5: Purchase of food and drink with added health benefits (eg probiotic, Omega-3 or cholesterol lowering), 2008-12
                                                          • EFSA clampdown sees four in five claims rejected
                                                            • Vitamin D use on the up
                                                              • Figure 6: UK Food and drink product launches which feature ‘Vitamin D’ in the product name or description, 2008-12
                                                            • Mixed messages when it comes to healthy lifestyles
                                                            • Broader Market Environment

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Consumer confidence remains low despite the recession ending
                                                                  • Figure 7: Consumer Confidence Index, monthly, January 2007-December 2012
                                                                • An ageing population set to pep up the functional market
                                                                  • Figure 8: Projected trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2012-17
                                                                • Growth in C2s and Es provide surprising scope for growth
                                                                    • Figure 9: Changes in the adult socio-economic structure of the UK population, 2012-17
                                                                  • An unwell population?
                                                                    • Figure 10: Proportion of UK adults suffering from selected health complaints, 2012
                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Vitamins and supplements seeing usage numbers declining
                                                                      • Figure 11: Frequency of using vitamins and supplements, 2008-12
                                                                      • Figure 12: Reasons for using vitamins and supplements, 2012
                                                                    • Superfoods also provide an element of threat
                                                                    • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                      • Strengths
                                                                        • Weaknesses
                                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Spoonable yogurt has led the way since 2008 but is losing share
                                                                              • Figure 13: New product launches in the UK functional food and non-alcoholic drink market, by subcategory, 2008-12
                                                                            • Functionality is growing in importance in the cereals market
                                                                              • Drinks categories also getting in on the act
                                                                                • Private label’s share of functional NPD on the rise
                                                                                  • Figure 14: NPD in the UK functional food and drink market, private label vs branded, 2008-12
                                                                                • Operators made fewer overt functional claims in 2012
                                                                                  • Figure 15: NPD in the UK functional food and drink market, by selected claims, 2008-12
                                                                              • Market and Brand Performance

                                                                                • Key point
                                                                                  • Sales of many of the leading brands traditionally positioned as functional holding up
                                                                                      • Figure 16: Retail sales of selected brands currently or recently positioned as functional across different product markets, 2010-12
                                                                                  • Companies and Products

                                                                                      • Danone
                                                                                        • Dunns River Nurishment
                                                                                          • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
                                                                                            • Kellogg’s
                                                                                              • McNeil Nutritionals
                                                                                                • Unilever
                                                                                                  • Yakult
                                                                                                  • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Adspend on brands positioned as functional stays steady
                                                                                                        • Figure 17: Adspend on food and drink brands typically positioned as functional, 2008-12*
                                                                                                      • Danone leads the way on adspend
                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Adspend for selected functional food and drink brands, 2011 and 2012*
                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Adspend for selected functional food and drink brands, 2008-12*
                                                                                                      • Lucozade leads the pack among other functional brands
                                                                                                      • Channels to Market

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • The multiple grocers dominate sales of functional products
                                                                                                          • Consumer – Purchase of Functional Products

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Fruit juices/juice drinks/cordials are popular functional categories
                                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Purchase of different types of functional food and drink, November 2012
                                                                                                                • A functional breakfast
                                                                                                                  • Exercise-related functional benefits remain a minority interest
                                                                                                                    • Over three quarters of adults use functional food and drink products…
                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Repertoire for purchase of different types of functional food and drink, November 2012
                                                                                                                      • … with a half using four or fewer types
                                                                                                                      • Consumer – Frequency of Usage

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • 82% of users of functional products do so weekly
                                                                                                                              • Figure 22: Frequency of using functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                          • Consumer – Impact of Usage

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Three in five users of functional products do so regularly
                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Perceived impact of using functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Impact of usage is felt most by daily functional users
                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Perceived impact of using functional food and drink products, by frequency of usage, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • 16-24-year-olds and households with children are most likely to perceive benefits
                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Daily/most day users who have perceived an impact of using functional food and drink products, by selected demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                            • Consumer – Motivations for Usage

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Maintaining a healthy heart is the main motivator for using functional products
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Motivations for using functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                  • Younger users look for tangible/visible functional benefits
                                                                                                                                  • Consumer – Awareness and Understanding of Functional Ingredients

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Mainstream functional ingredients are claimed to be well-understood
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Awareness and understanding of functional ingredients, November 2012
                                                                                                                                        • The success of omega-3
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Benefits associated with omega-3, November 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Probiotics and anti-oxidants fall foul of the EFSA
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Benefits associated with anti-oxidants and probiotic bacteria, November 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Consumer – Attitudes Towards Functional Products

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Two thirds of adults doubt functional products’ credentials
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Attitudes towards functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                              • Unfortified foods are preferred to functional foods for health
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Attitudes relating to the purchase of functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                              • Scepticism is rife among the majority of functional users
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Attitudes relating to the credibility of functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                              • Under-45s most likely to stick to well-known brands
                                                                                                                                                • Opportunities to tap into functional products for kids
                                                                                                                                                  • Only a quarter of users think it is worth paying more for functional goods
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Attitudes relating to the cost of functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • A third of users want to see a better range of functional products
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Attitudes relating to the range/availability of functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Consumer – Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Four target groups
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Target groups for functional products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                    • Unaware (32%)
                                                                                                                                                      • Conflicters (25%)
                                                                                                                                                        • Enthusiasts (22%)
                                                                                                                                                          • Sceptics (21%)
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Purchase of food and drink with added health benefits (eg probiotic, Omega-3 or cholesterol lowering), 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Purchase of food and drink with added health benefits (eg probiotic, Omega-3 or cholesterol lowering), by demographics, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Broader Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Number of times suffered from selected health complaints, 2010-12
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Health issues suffered in the last 4 weeks and in the last 12 months, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Health issues suffered in the last 12 months, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Health issues suffered in the last 12 months, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Health issues suffered in the last 12 months, by demographics, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Health issues suffered in the last 12 months, by demographics, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Health issues suffered from, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Health issues suffered from, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Health issues suffered from, by demographics, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Health issues suffered from, by demographics, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Number of times suffered from following complaints, 2010-12
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Competitive Context

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Frequency of using vitamins and supplements, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Reason for consumption of vitamins and supplements, 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Consumer – Purchase of Functional Products

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Purchase of different types of functional food and drink, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Most popular different types of functional food and drink purchased, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Next most popular different types of functional food and drink purchased, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Other types of functional food and drink purchased, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Repertoire of types of functional food and drink purchased, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Types of functional food and drink purchased, by repertoire of types of functional food and drink purchased, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Repertoire of types of functional food and drink purchased, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Consumer – Frequency of Usage

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 61: Frequency of using functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 62: Frequency of using functional food and drink products, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 63: Frequency of using functional food and drink products, by most popular types of functional food and drink purchased, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Frequency of using functional food and drink products, by next most popular types of functional food and drink purchased, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Consumer – Impact of Usage

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Perceived impact of using functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 66: Perceived impact of using functional food and drink products, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Perceived impact of using functional food and drink products, by frequency of usage, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Perceived impact of using functional food and drink products, by frequency of usage, by selected demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Perceived impact of using functional food and drink products, by frequency of usage, by selected demographics, November 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Consumer – Motivations for Usage

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Motivations for using functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Most popular motivations for using functional food and drink products, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Next most popular motivations for using functional food and drink products, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Other motivations for using functional food and drink products, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Motivations for using functional food and drink products, by types of functional food and drink purchased, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 75: Motivations for using functional food and drink products, by types of functional food and drink purchased, November 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 76: Motivations for using functional food and drink products, by frequency of using functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Consumer – Awareness and Understanding of Functional Ingredients

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 77: Awareness and understanding of functional ingredients, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 78: Awareness and understanding of functional ingredients, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 79: Awareness and understanding of functional ingredients, by types of functional food and drink purchased, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 80: Awareness and understanding of functional ingredients, by types of functional food and drink purchased, November 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 81: Awareness and understanding of functional ingredients, by types of functional food and drink purchased, November 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 82: Benefits associated with selected functional ingredients, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 83: Benefits associated with Omega-3, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 84: Benefits associated with Omega-3, by demographics, November 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 85: Benefits associated with anti-oxidants, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 86: Benefits associated with anti-oxidants, by demographics, November 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 87: Benefits associated with probiotic bacteria, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 88: Benefits associated with probiotic bacteria, by demographics, November 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Consumer – Attitudes Towards Functional Products

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 89: Attitudes towards functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 90: Users’ attitudes towards functional food and drink products, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 91: Agreement with the statements ‘Health-promoting benefits of natural foods are preferable to the added benefits of functional foods’ and ‘Many products make functional claims without scientific proof’, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 92: Agreement with the statements ‘The labelling on functional food products is often unclear about what the benefits are’ and ‘Most claims made on functional products are exaggerated/misleading’, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 93: Agreement with the statements ‘Functional benefits are just an excuse for companies to charge a higher price’ and ‘I am more prepared to buy functional food and drink products as I get older’, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 94: Agreement with the statements ‘There aren’t enough popular products with functional benefits’ and ‘Functional products from well-known brands are more credible than products from less known brands’, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 95: Agreement with the statements ‘I find the current range of functional food and drink flavours unexciting/boring’ and ‘Functional food and drink are worth paying more for’, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 96: Agreement with the statement ‘Most functional food and drink products are unsuitable for children’, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Consumer – Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 97: Target groups, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 98: Purchase of different types of functional food, by target groups, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 99: Frequency of using functional food and drink products, by target groups, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 100: Impact of using functional food and drink products, by target groups, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 101: Motivations for using functional food and drink products, by target groups, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 102: Awareness and understanding of functional ingredients, by target groups, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 103: Attitudes towards functional food and drink products, by target groups, November 2012

                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                          • Danone UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                          • GlaxoSmithKline Plc
                                                                                                                                                          • Grace Foods UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                          • Johnson & Johnson
                                                                                                                                                          • Raisio plc
                                                                                                                                                          • Unilever Bestfoods UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                          • Yakult UK Ltd

                                                                                                                                                          Consumer Attitudes towards Functional Food and Drink - UK - February 2013

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