Hurting the health conscious consumer

The Lempert Report
January 31, 2014

According to a new study, some food companies have cut daily calorie counts by an average of 78 per person.

If we’re seeing a pattern in consumer habits, it’s that people want to be healthier!  

The (upcoming) 2014 NGA SupermarketGuru Consumer Panel Survey, shows that more than one consumer in five say dietitians are a “very/somewhat important” influence in their choice of a primary supermarket and that 80.8% of consumers consider health claims “almost always” or “sometimes” when considering purchase of a new food item.  

According to a new study sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, some of the nation's largest food companies have cut daily calorie counts by an average of 78 per person, this is greater than four times the amount the industry pledged to slash by next year.

But, not everyone is on board. Where’s the problem? Chain restaurants.  A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that the entrees at some popular chain restaurants are far from nutritious, loaded with sodium and void of fiber. And with just about half of the foods and beverages people consume are away from home, that makes being healthy tough.

Supermarkets have the opportunity to fill a void here by offering more packaged, grab and go foods, and as nutritional information on packaged foods is harder to miss, consumers are more likely to pay attention and make smart choices.  Once again supermarkets have a chance to appeal to their health conscious but time poor customers and offer healthy and nutritious meal options.