04 Mar Insider View: January 2015
….. avoiding certain food such as gluten or sugar is becoming a way of life for some consumers, while others search for convenient, but less processed, options.
January: the month of diets, claimed abstinence and re-evaluation.
Whilst a recent Neilsen Global Survey of Health and Wellness* showed that sugar, salt and artificial additives play a big role in what consumers choose to buy in the UK, we were also the most willing to pay a premium price for products that are ‘all natural’, ‘gluten free’ or ‘organic’. Results of our recent Free From Survey** reflect this growing trend with a high proportion of participants claiming to choose Free From products even if they are not diagnosed Coeliacs. The core driver for many of these ‘lifestylers’ is a desire to eat ‘cleaner’, ‘less processed’ food with a belief that shopping the Free From aisle will prove better for their health. The success of Mrs. Crimbles Original Cheese Crackers (ref 150131, 41) tested this month demonstrates the point, with more than 7 in 10 of Fast Foodfax testers keen to buy. Dairy free brand Alpro also continues to successfully innovate with Devilishly Dark Chocolate (ref 150106, 37). This increasing desire to ‘eat clean, real food’ is, in part, a response to the growing disillusionment some feel about inconsistent health messages over the years. As a result many default to eating a ‘balanced diet’, looking for health and natural clues in their food choices. Understanding this, food manufacturers strive to add health claims that allow consumers to feel less guilty about choosing their brands. That may be through overt claims such as Aldi’s Harvest Morn Light Benefit Summer Fruit Bars (ref 150125, 44), or by using ‘cleaner’, natural ingredients to enhance nutritional content. Wholebake’s 9bar Indulge Cocoa & Hazelnut (ref 150108, 36), is illustrative of this approach, claiming to be an ‘utterly indulgent snack bar’ made more nutritious through the use of mixed seeds. But consumers are quick to reject any poorer tasting healthy products, especially in treat categories like desserts, which they could easily forgo, for example Lick Ltd’s “very sickly” Frozen Yogurt, ref 150133, 26. The challenge for the industry is to harness this growing demand for tasty ‘good for you’ products, with ‘all natural foods’ ‘Free From’ and alternative grains all potentially set for further growth in 2015.
*As reported in The Grocer 16/02/2014 based on a Nielsen poll of 30,000 people in 60 countries.
** Cambridge MR Free From On Line Survey Nov 2014, sample size: Lifestylers: 211 & Coeliacs: 476.
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A TASTE OF CONSUMER OPINIONS. . .
- A microwaveable pouch from General Mills brings Green Giant Express Sweetcorn bang up to date. (Product of the month Review 150128)
- Loved by Us… and by them out there – Co-op Baking Iberico Cheese Cubes with Orange & Chilli Relish; something really new and different, so 9 out of 10 thought. (Review 150113)
- Tesco’s Bulgur Wheat with Edamame – a niche product with real potential (Review 150104) – and a more exciting meat free option compared to Waitrose’s Red Pepper Grills (Review 150116)
- Continental Cookies hit a sweet spot with a Melting Nougat Cream filling: Cookie’s Bakery Creamy Cookie from Griesson de Beukeler. (Review 150109)
- Another import – this time from the States also made its mark. Expensive, but a lighter savoury treat: Pressells – Everything from Dream Pretzels. (Review 150118)