Insights reveal while a majority of Australians feel healthy and the health food segment is growing, 67 per cent are overweight or obese, only 17 per cent meet physical activity guidelines and only five per cent eat enough fruit.
IRI Asia-Pacific Chief Commercial Officer, Alistair Leathwood delivered interesting insights into consumer trends and the resultant challenges for the retail sector at the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s annual industry event.
“The greatest challenge for manufacturers and retailers is encouraging shoppers to do more in relation to their health and wellbeing,” explained Mr Leathwood.
While a lot of brands are seen to be “getting it right” as seen through the growth in health food aisles and health food sales, there is still more that can be done.
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“Health food sales grew by $624m last year – a huge eight per cent in growth on the previous year,” Mr Leathwood reported.
Health and wellbeing trends
The IRI identified the top five health and wellbeing trends to be:
- Digestive diligence – consumers are purchasing more products which promote gut health.
- Protein – with increases in knowledge animal and plant-based protein product sales are increasing.
- Good fats and carbs – influencers and health experts are seen to be driving up sales of full fat milk, butter and extra virgin olive oil.
- Clean and green – the environment is a key factor in purchasing decisions.
- Permissible indulgence – more considered indulgence as evidenced by the growth of ‘better for you’ brands.
Challenge to retailers
“We all have different ideas about what healthy means, and this is driving an increase in market fragmentation and the proliferation of products catering to more specific brands.
“The challenge is to respond to the needs, desires and aspirations of shoppers,” Mr Leathwood said.