Price the ‘biggest barrier’ to healthy diets

A study from the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), together with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Nielsen Global Connect, flagged health as an important business priority – and a significant opportunity for CPG manufacturers.

The report, How the Consumer Industry Can Boost Healthier Eating​, was based on interviews with 15 global CEOs in the retail and CPG space, alongside a survey of 7,000 consumers from seven countries (China, France, Mexico, Turkey, the UK and the US).

Almost all consumers – 97{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} – reported that their health is important to them but, when it comes to diet, 23{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} of all respondents said that they were struggling to achieve a healthy, balanced approach to nutrition.

The higher price of healthy food was cited as a key hurdle to healthier diets, with 80{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} citing price as an issue.

Formulation and flavour presents another problem, with 43{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} suggesting that healthier food ‘does not taste as good’ and 32{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} complaining that healthy options are not satiating.

Education and awareness also appears to be a factor: 36{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} cited uncertainty about which foods were healthier as an issue.

Access to healthy foods, on the other hand, was not a barrier for the majority of consumers with 73{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} reporting that healthy foods are ‘widely available and accessible’.

‘A moral and business imperative’

Consumers worldwide demonstrate ‘steadily growing concerns’ about their nutrition, from the higher price commanded by healthy options to a ‘lack of understanding’ about what makes up a healthy diet.

The business leaders interviewed in the report, which is part of the CGF’s Collaboration for Healthier Lives Coalition, demonstrated an awareness of these problems and suggested that addressing them is a ‘moral and business imperative’.

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