Shoppers still prepared to pay for healthier foods, says research

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food labelling, Nutrition

Consumers are prepared to pay more for foods that note health attributes on packs, and are becoming more aware and sophisticated in their attitudes to diet and food labelling, according to research from Tate & Lyle.

The ingredient firm has repositioned elf in recent years towards healthy ingredients and food formulation. It has a number of platforms to help food manufacturers reduce the levels of less desired nutrients in food, like fat, sugar and salt (Rebalance), boost nutritional content (Enrich), and make cost-efficient foods (Optimize).

At the same time, food products’ claims about nutritional content is a matter of major debate as the European level at present. New regulation on food labelling, including mandatory on-pack information on certain nutrients, is making its way through the law-making process. The new health claims regulation is also being implemented and is re-shaping the landscape of the functional foods sector.

The new survey, commissioned from Harris Interactive and conducted online in July in Germany, France, the UK, Spain and Italy, asked 1565 people about their healthy eating interests.

At least half of consumers said they see less sugar and fat in products as being important benefits.

And around 80 per cent said they would be prepared to spend more on foods that make specific health claims, such as ‘helps to control cholesterol’ and ‘improves cardiovascular health’.

However only 20 per cent were prepared to make any concession to taste to have a healthier product.

The survey also threw up some interesting views on sweeteners. Three out of four consumers said fructose is their favourite sweetener; and polydextrose was deemed to be the favourite fibre (although in the case of polydextrose, it was identified as a fibre in the questionnaire, whereas others were not).

“Understanding that consumer still view health and wellness as extremely important and look to on-pack labelling for guidance will enable our customers to respond to these consumers’ preferences,”​ said Anne Barry, marketing officer.

The company will be airing the full findings of its survey at the FiE trade show in Frankfurt in mid-November.

Related topics: Markets, Health

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