Written by Paul L.
On Monday July 25, 2011
A new survey conducted by Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Prevention magazine says that the majority of consumers consider added health ingredients to be more of a purchase driver than the absence of undesirable ingredients such as saturated fat, sodium and sugar.
At the beginning of 2011, we mentioned that companies will continue to focus on reducing saturated fat, sodium content and sugar or corn syrup. What’s more interesting is that consumers care more about the added health benefits in addition to the nutrients inherent in the food. Health-conscious consumers are increasingly looking at nutrition labels and educating themselves on what they are eating.
The survey found the following as the health ingredients sought after when purchasing food:
- 44% of respondents look for fibre;
- 36% of respondents look for grain;
- 27% of respondents look for protein;
- 23% of respondents look for omega-3; and
- 16% of respondents look for antioxidants
Fortifying our foods with healthy ingredients provide consumers with convenience and added health benefits (perhaps to offset the unhealthy foods as well). I’ve mentioned before that taste is king and it will remain the most important factor in food purchases. Consumers may regard sodium reduction to negatively affect the taste and may deter from buying those foods. Case-in-point: Campbell is reverting back to their original recipes after consumers complained about their line of low-sodium soups. High-sodium foods have been in our diets for so long that it’s difficult for consumers to switch over.
Consumers are getting smarter with their purchases. Value and health benefits steer buying decisions. They may choose a product with added fibre or protein over a low-sodium product. It makes sense doesn’t it? The added health ingredient justifies the higher sodium content.