Understanding the Paleo Shopper

January 12, 2017

This paleo diet is gaining momentum as studies support its significant benefits for those suffering from chronic diseases. 

If you’re in the food business, you should probably familiarize yourself with the “caveman” diet. You’re likely to encounter shoppers and diners swearing by the benefits of this meal plan that basically only allows for foods that were available to humans in the Paleolithic Era. That eliminates a great deal of those packaged, processed foods in the center of the store, but it opens up opportunity for focus on fresh produce, meats, and seafood. And if you’re a grocerant, you may have the opportunity to feature items on your menu that cater to this diet.

Growing in popularity, the paleo diet is particularly perceived as a solution to overall feeling better, getting fitter, and saying no to common foods. In addition to studies last year showing paleo diet’s long-term beneficial effects on obesity-related disorders, including reduced risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, just this week a study was released that points to major benefits for people suffering from multiple sclerosis

Here is a guide to help you get to know paleo customers better:

What is Paleo?
True Paleo is the ultimate in unprocessed. Paleo eaters say no to processed sugar, no to all grains, legumes and dairy; but a big yes to vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits and (in an optimal world) grass fed, or wild game and fish.  All things that could be found in nature during Paleolithic times; before the agricultural revolution, before we started harvesting grains and legumes, keeping cows and eating from a can. Paleo eaters load up on veggies and meat, nuts, seeds and fruit; a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals and general nutrition and void of over processing, anything artificial and (surprise) no gluten!

Why are more and more people trying Paleo day after day?
By eliminating sugar, grain fed meat, dairy, legumes, grains, gluten and packaged foods most find more energy, weight loss, clear thinking, increased fitness, less pain and more. Eating Paleo is a very clean way of eating and if done properly can be anti-inflammatory.

What packaged foods are considered paleo?
Think nuts and seeds, trail mixes, grass fed beef jerky or wild salmon jerky, kale chips, coconut based snacks and more.

Retailers, take note, as more and more shoppers will come searching for Paleo friendly items as well as prepared foods. The Paleo Foundation has even developed a label that aims to assure Paleo followers that a packaged product adheres to diet specifications: “Grain-free, legume-free, dairy-free, artificial coloring, artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners and artificial flavor enhancers-free.”

For more on the Paleo diet click here.