A poll conducted by the Science Group market researcher in October also revealed that 41% of consumers buy breakfast cereals because of their fortification, with 37% saying the same of dairy products like yoghurt or milk. Bread was mentioned by 27% of respondents.
The reasons for choosing fortified products varied between men and women, as well as different age groups.
Maintaining overall physical health was the top priority, mentioned by 36% of all respondents. However, this rose to 46% for men and 53% for 16-35-year-olds. The younger demographic was also more likely to buy fortified products to supplement nutrient deficiency related to dietary choices, such as veganism (29% versus 16% of the general population).
More fortified snacks, please
Insights like this can inform the development of new products, but they also point to ways that manufacturers can evolve labelling and marketing to emphasise the nutritional value of existing products. - Cindy Beeren, consumers and sensory director, Leatherhead.
Snacks – followed by store cupboard essentials like baked beans and pasta sauces – were the most popular choices across all age groups when asked if they’d like to see more fortified products available in certain categories.
But again, the younger group had the greatest appetite for fortification: 58% would like more fortified snacks (versus 27% of the more senior group).
Cindy Beeren, consumer and sensory director at Leatherhead, said these insights could underpin more focused product development.
“It’s fascinating to drill down into these variations and understand why people make the choices they do, and what they’re looking for in food and beverage products,” she said.
“This interest in snacks and store cupboard essentials indicates that many people with busy lifestyles want the industry to do more to help them make choices that can benefit their health. Insights like this can inform the development of new products, but they also point to ways that manufacturers can evolve labelling and marketing to emphasise the nutritional value of existing products.”
Boosting health around the globe
According to Market Watch, the global fortified foods market will witness rapid growth, expected to push past $500bn by the end of 2027.
The demand is exceptionally growing among health conscious people who are willing to spend more for fortified products. On the flip side, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) have identified targeted food fortification programmes as a successful strategy to reduce the prevalence of malnutrition.
Approximately two billion people around the world still lack access to the essential minerals and vitamins needed for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Fortification involves the addition of nutrients that may or may not have been present prior to processing. It can be used to improve the nutritional status of a population, such as the mandatory fortification of flour with calcium in the UK. Other products are fortified voluntarily, such as breakfast cereals, snacks and spreads.