Why health isn’t all bad news for meat
Brits are increasingly choosing food and drink for health reasons.
Giles Quick, Commercial Director, Kantar Worldpanel, spoke at AHDB’s consumer insight conference in Stratford on 17 April.
Giles’s presentation looked at health – a hot topic in the food and drink industry, and one of the biggest drivers of changing consumer behaviour. In reality, it’s not a standalone issue - our attitudes and behaviour reflect a complex web of economic, societal and environmental factors.
What is clear is that from a public health perspective is that there is a real need for change. Some 27% of the UK population is obese - up from 16% in 1995 - and the content of our shopping baskets shows we’re still buying too much sugar, saturated fat and salt.
Our insight into consumption habits shows Brits are increasingly choosing food and drink for health reasons, up 5% on last year, and giving “health” a value of £23bn a year. Consumers are also willing to pay 9% more for an option which they consider healthy.
With consumers most strongly associating health with fruit, vegetables and pulses, one might assume we’re heading towards becoming a nation of vegetarians. But the data shows that while there has been an acceleration in the number of meat free evening meals, vegetarianism has grown slowly. So consumers are cutting down rather than cutting out meat, and this is more likely to be motivated by health than by saving money.