The Health Conscious Consumers

The Lempert Report
January 06, 2015

What are some of the key trends and key consumers for health foods?

According to recent research published in a Packaged Facts' report called Functional Foods: Key Trends & Developments in Ingredients, with proactive wellness and proper nutrition among leading consumer dietary trends, functional foods are emerging as an increasingly important part of the U.S. food retail landscape. And which consumers are driving this growth? Millennials, Baby Boomers, and health-engaged and exercise-conscientious consumers.

Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle said in their press release,  "Increased consumer awareness of health and wellness across the age spectrum and among those seeking to combat obesity will continue to fuel interest in functional foods for the foreseeable future, and therefore the ingredients selected for use and potential claims to be made by food processors and marketers," 

The report noted that for Millennials the focus is on improving current health and preventing future declining health. As a result they are more likely to seek out food products fortified with calcium, fiber and vitamins and minerals, says the report. Millennials are also big on snacking, so healthy snacks from yogurt to fresh fruit to nutrition bars win big here. 

For baby boomers, the report found that they want more of the ingredients that have been identified to help prevent or mitigate age related conditions. like fiber, antioxidants, heart-healthy ingredients, vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium and whole grains.

For the health engaged, there is a focus on living a higher quality of life through health and wellness and centered on nutritious food and exercise, to this pattern, food processors are taking note. According to the report, most food processors expect weight management and cardiovascular health to be the top issues for consideration over the next two years while developing foods, beverages and dietary supplements.

As these consumers embrace health and healthy nutritious products, supermarket can play a role. Retailers can use this kind of research to direct their shoppers to  products that might fit their health goals and needs and offer guidance, tips and nutritional information on the types of foods are most beneficial for the needs and wants of each demographic.