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Trends Impacting Health and Nutrition: Seeking a Balanced Diet

14 January 2020

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Image source: Ella Olsson

By: Amrutha Shridhar, Euromonitor International

Healthy living and behaviours towards health are consistently changing year-on-year. As new trends emerge and information about various ailments and illnesses is shared via more channels than ever before, it is important for companies and brands to understand consumer perceptions and habits when it comes to their health.

It may feel that we are constantly being bombarded with the latest diet and nutrition trends, however, consumers seem to be seeking more traditional ways of eating.

Many of them are focused on eating a balanced meal, seeking a diet that emphasises low sugar, low carbohydrates, low calories and high protein.

These consumers want a variety of options, often seeking to include raw foods, dairy-free or vegan products in their diets even though they may not follow strict dietary restrictions such as veganism on a long-term basis.

Companies and brands that produce products aimed at specific dietary restrictions such as veganism should not limit their sales and marketing strategy solely to vegan consumers.

Instead, they should broaden their targeted audience to include both vegan consumers and the average consumer who is seeking to incorporate vegan products as part of their balanced diet.

Professionals such as doctors, nutritionists and dieticians are the top information sources when consumers are looking for information on diets and nutrition.

However, friends and family, online browsing, health-care-related websites and social media are extremely popular as well. Information readily available to consumers via the internet saves time and effort and is often considered just as reliable as visiting a health-care professional.

Convenience and trust of internet sources have led to an increase in consumer’s self-diagnosing their issues. This gives brands and companies an additional channel and platform to engage with their customers.

Brands and companies should not rely solely on traditional health-care channels but instead should ensure that their products and services are clearly represented via independent reviews, health-care-related websites and social media.

Consumers’ focus on consuming a balanced diet is not solely for personal health. Many consumers are making changes to support wider issues.

Environmental, animal welfare and community engagement are some of the main reasons for seeking features such as locally sourced, organic and fair trade.

Companies and brands that are developing health-focused products with features such as low sugar and high protein should ensure that they also highlight their support for global issues to resonate with these consumers.

Medical factors such as doctor recommendations and weight loss or management are key reasons to why some consumers are seeking low sugar diets. However, many consumers are participating in low sugar diets for other reasons.

One of the top motivations cited as “low sugar makes me feel better”. This goes side-by-side with the holistic approach consumers are taking when it comes to their health and fits into that balanced lifestyle of concentrating on feeling good. Brands and companies producing low-sugar products should highlight the medical benefits as well as contributions to overall wellness.

Read the rest of the report here.