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UK Health Food Retailing Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Health Food Retailing market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Thomas Slide, a leading analyst in the Retail sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The health food specialists have capitalised on the health and wellbeing trend but it hasn’t been easy as supermarkets and online players have increasingly muscled in on the market. The most important factor for specialists is trust, both as a way to combat the threat of the competition but also to persuade shoppers to take a risk on the latest products Thomas Slide
Retail Analyst

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

This report discusses the following key topics:

Products covered in this report

This report is focused on the specialist health food retailers, which are defined as retailers that specialise in selling predominantly food products that are marketed for their health benefits.

While not the main focus of the report, other retailers that also sell those product categories found in health food shops, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, are included in the consumer section of this report, but not in the market or leading retailers sections.

The definition of ‘health foods’ for the purposes of this report is therefore based on those products that are generally expected to be sold through health food retailers including:

  • Dried fruit, nuts, seeds, bran
  • Vitamins or supplements
  • Fruit or herbal teas
  • High protein products
  • Free-from foods
  • Pre-packaged raw food snacks
  • Sports nutrition products
  • Weight loss products
  • Herbal or homeopathic remedies

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What's included

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Sales through health food specialists hits £699 million
              • Figure 1: Total health food specialists’ sector size, 2012-22
            • Vitamins and supplements market stalls in 2017
              • Other categories experience growth
                • Income squeeze could make health food buyers more demanding
                  • More than half of consumers try to eat healthily
                    • Companies and brands
                      • Holland & Barrett bought by L1 Retail
                        • Julian Graves founders launch Grape Tree
                          • Holland & Barrett launches Healthbox
                            • The consumer
                              • 66% have bought health food products in the last three months
                                • Figure 2: Health foods purchased in the past three months, December 2017
                              • Supermarkets dominate the sector
                                • Figure 3: Where they shopped for health foods in the past three months, December 2017
                              • Qualified advisors encourage visits to specialists
                                • Figure 4: What would encourage them to shop at a particular health food retailer, December 2017
                              • Wide range of reasons for buying health foods
                                • Figure 5: Reasons for buying health food products, December 2017
                              • Two thirds of buyers look for evidence
                                • Figure 6: How they shop for health foods, December 2017
                              • Young are open to paying if they can be persuaded of the benefits
                                • Figure 7: Attitudes towards health food retailers, December 2017
                              • What we think
                              • Issues and Insights

                                • Reaching out to provide trusted advice
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Enticing younger shoppers into health food stores
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                            • Appealing to those trying to stay healthy on a budget
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Sales through health food specialists hit £699 million
                                                    • Vitamins and supplements market stalls in 2017
                                                      • Other categories experience growth
                                                        • Income squeeze could make health food buyers more demanding
                                                          • More than half of consumers try to eat healthily
                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                            • Health food retailers experience steady growth
                                                              • Market forecast to reach £845 million by 2022
                                                                • Figure 8: Total health food specialists’ sector size, 2012-22
                                                                • Figure 9: Total health food specialists’ sector size, in current and constant prices, 2012-22
                                                              • Forecast methodology
                                                              • Market Segmentation

                                                                  • Sales of vitamins and supplements edge into decline in 2017
                                                                    • Figure 10: Sales of vitamins and supplements at current prices, 2012-2017
                                                                    • Figure 11: UK retail value sales of vitamins and supplements, by segment, 2016-17
                                                                  • Healthy options drive growth in the snacking market
                                                                    • Free-from food sales boom
                                                                      • Figure 12: UK retail value sales of free-from food and drink, 2012-2017
                                                                    • 27% of adults use sports nutrition products
                                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                                      • The income squeeze puts pressure on healthy eating
                                                                        • Figure 13: Annual percentage change in CPI and AWE (regular pay), monthly basis, January 2014-January 2018
                                                                      • Health warnings over "ultra-processed” foods
                                                                        • 61% of adults are overweight or obese
                                                                          • Figure 14: Trends in body mass index (BMI), England, 1995-2016
                                                                        • Attitudes to healthy eating
                                                                          • Figure 15: How often consumers try to eat healthily, November 2015, 2016 and 2017
                                                                        • Reasons for sticking to a diet
                                                                          • Figure 16: Benefits consumers would ideally like from their diet, November 2017
                                                                        • Consumers trust official sources of information
                                                                            • Figure 17: Trust in sources of information about nutrition and exercise, April 2017
                                                                        • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                          • Holland & Barrett bought by L1 Retail
                                                                            • Julian Graves founders launch Grape Tree
                                                                              • Online shop aims to tackle health food waste
                                                                                • Holland & Barrett launches Healthbox
                                                                                • Leading Specialists

                                                                                  • Holland & Barrett acquired by L1 Retail
                                                                                    • Julian Graves founders launch Grape Tree
                                                                                      • Revital attracts investment
                                                                                        • Figure 18: Leading health food specialists, sales, 2013-2017
                                                                                      • Holland & Barrett improves and expands its store estate
                                                                                        • Rapid expansion at Grape Tree
                                                                                          • Figure 19: Leading health food specialists, outlet numbers, 2013-2017
                                                                                        • Sales per outlet
                                                                                          • Figure 20: Leading health food specialists, sales per outlet, 2013-2017
                                                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                        • New online shop tackling health food waste
                                                                                          • Figure 21: Food Circle Supermarket, March 2018
                                                                                        • Planet Organic launches online vegan shop
                                                                                          • New online supermarket offering solely natural, cruelty-free, plant-based and planet-friendly products
                                                                                            • The Community Farm opens first shop
                                                                                              • On-demand organic and speciality food
                                                                                                • Crussh and Holland & Barrett in-store collaboration
                                                                                                  • Zero waste, 100% organic supermarket
                                                                                                    • Health food-to-go
                                                                                                      • Healthy Foods Online launches its first food store
                                                                                                        • Holland & Barrett launches Healthbox
                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Holland & Barrett Healthbox service, March 2018
                                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                        • 66% have bought health food products in the last three months
                                                                                                          • Supermarkets dominate the sector
                                                                                                            • Qualified advisors encourage visits to specialists
                                                                                                              • Wide range of reasons for buying health foods
                                                                                                                • Two thirds of buyers look for evidence
                                                                                                                  • Cynical attitude towards health claims
                                                                                                                  • Health Foods Purchased

                                                                                                                    • 66% have bought health food products in the last three months
                                                                                                                      • Dried fruit, nuts, seeds and bran the most popular category
                                                                                                                        • Vitamins and supplements
                                                                                                                          • Sports nutrition and protein attracts male shoppers
                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Health foods purchased in the past three months, December 2017
                                                                                                                          • Health foods purchased by more affluent consumers
                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Health foods purchased in the past three months, by average age and socio-economic group, December 2017
                                                                                                                          • A quarter bought three or more health food products
                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Repertoire of health food products purchased in the last three months, December 2017
                                                                                                                        • Where They Shop for Health Foods

                                                                                                                          • Supermarkets dominate the sector
                                                                                                                            • Holland & Barrett sticks close to the competition
                                                                                                                              • Battling the online competition
                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Where they shopped for health foods in the past three months, December 2017
                                                                                                                              • Health food stores need to appeal to a younger audience
                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Where they purchased health food products in the past three months, by average age and socio-economic group, December 2017
                                                                                                                              • Where they shop, by what they bought
                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Where they shopped for health food products in the past three months, by what health products they purchase in the past three months, December 2017
                                                                                                                              • Buyers of weight loss products are least likely to visit health food stores
                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Where they shopped for health food products in the past three months, by what health products they purchase in the past three months, December 2017
                                                                                                                              • Over half shop around
                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Repertoire analysis of retailers used to buy health food products in the past three months, December 2017
                                                                                                                            • Encouraging Them to Shop at a Health Food Retailer

                                                                                                                              • Qualified advisors make the difference
                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Encouraging them to shop at a health food retailer, December 2017
                                                                                                                              • Food-to-go appeals to the young
                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Encouraging them to shop at a health food retailer, December 2017
                                                                                                                              • Recipe workshops could persuade people to visit health food stores
                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: What would encourage them to visit a health food store, by where they shopped for health food in the past three months, December 2017
                                                                                                                              • Specific goals require more advice
                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Top three reasons for buying health food products, by features that would encourage them to visit a health food retailer, December 2017
                                                                                                                            • Reasons for Buying Health Food Products

                                                                                                                              • Health food buyers look to protect themselves
                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Reasons for buying health food products, December 2017
                                                                                                                              • Under 35s turn to health food to improve their mood
                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Selected reasons for buying health foods, by age, December 2017
                                                                                                                              • Older shoppers look to improve health
                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Selected reasons for buying health foods, by age, December 2017
                                                                                                                            • How They Shop for Health Foods

                                                                                                                              • Two thirds look for evidence
                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: How they shop for health foods, December 2017
                                                                                                                              • Health food subscription services appeal to young men
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Interest in regularly receiving health food products via a subscription, December 2017
                                                                                                                                • Under 35s follow bloggers and vloggers
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Followers of healthy eating bloggers/vloggers, by age and gender, December 2017
                                                                                                                              • Attitudes Towards Health Food Retailers

                                                                                                                                • A cynical attitude towards health claims
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Attitudes towards health food retailers, December 2017
                                                                                                                                • Younger consumers are open to paying more for clear benefits
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Attitudes towards shopping for health foods, by age and socio-economic group, December 2017
                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                    • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                      • Forecast methodology