2016 Shoppers Want Clean Eating for Good Health

SupermarketGuru hosted a quick poll with our consumer panel throughout the month of December to find out what kinds of changes to eating habits people will be making in this new year. Here’s what we discovered.

January 7, 2016

And we’re off! 2016 is here, and that means your shoppers will be focused on resolutions and making changes in their lives. SupermarketGuru hosted a quick poll with our consumer panel throughout the month of December to find out what kinds of changes to eating habits people will be making in this new year. Here’s what we discovered. 

The first question we asked our panel is if they plan to go on a diet or change their eating habits after the first of the year. More than half (54%) answered yes, 22% said maybe, and 25% said no, leading us to believe that at least a quarter of those surveyed are satisfied with the way they eat. 

When it comes to the kind of diet our panel is inclined to follow, we found the top answer was simply interested in “trying to eat more clean” (36%). Our number two answer - on trend with the warnings about sugar in the past year - was “low sugar’ (32%). Tweny-six percent are looking to cut carbs, while 21% are looking to the Mediterranean diet for help. Another 16% are cutting calories, 13% are going vegetarian, and 11% are going to try gluten free (Is GF slowing down, perhaps?) or trying a low fat diet. Only eight percent plan on using Weight Watchers. However, we may see that number increase with Oprah’s recent tearjerker commercial! Another eight percent like paleo, five percent are cutting dairy, doing intermittent fasting, or going vegan. And looks like diet plans like Atkins (3%), South Beach Diet (3%), Nutrisystem (2%), Zone (1%), and Jenny Craig (0%) are out.

In recent years, we’ve witnessed a shift in body image and more acceptance of seeing a bigger number on the scale. That being said, 55% still want to change their eating habits so they can lose weight. But our number one answer when asked about the motivation behind dieting is to get healthier (75%). Thirty percent want to improve their appearance, 17% say their clothes don’t fit, 16% are “not feeling well,” and 12% say their doctor or dietitian has made the recommendation to change their diet. And a small percentage (5%) have a food allergy. 

The takeaway for supermarkets as they embark on a new year with their shoppers? Your majority is looking for a change, and it’s not diet foods they want, it’s “clean” food and less sugar. Diet plans and diet products aren’t popular solutions. They want to feel healthier (and thinner would be nice, too). Steer them towards the produce department, offer ideas for simple home cooked meals, more whole grains, healthy oils, and healthy proteins. 

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