Saturday, June 22, 2024

Tapping into health focused demand

Australians are eating better and exercising more since Covid hit, according to research from Woolworths Group’s digital wellness hub, HealthyLife.

Released in April, the first annual ‘HealthyLife Living Healthy Report’ combined a 2000-person national survey undertaken in February this year with analysis based on 25 million weekly purchases made at Woolworths supermarkets between 2019 and 2021, to shed light on the impact of the pandemic on the nation’s health.

The report says one in three Australians were found to be eating “better” compared with two years previously and believed they were healthier as a result, with “almost” a third of surveyed Australians believing they were eating less highly processed food, and 41% cooking more at home, compared with two years previously.

“The pandemic has provided a unique circuit breaker and a focus on health we haven’t seen before,” HealthyLife Chief Health Officer Simone Austin said at the time the report was launched. “As a result, we’ve seen a number of positive health improvements.”

In a presentation at Naturally Good Expo in June, Davidson Branding Managing Director Grant Davidson also explored the growth of healthier food and beverages, citing his company’s ‘The future of healthy food’ report (the product of analysing around 500 data sources from the previous two years).

“There were two numbers that absolutely blew our minds,” he said. “The first one is that 89% of [surveyed] Australian consumers want a healthy diet [Source: Coles and The Heart Foundation, 2020].

“[The other number was] 53% of [surveyed] Australians will pay a premium for health and wellness products [Source: Nielsen, 2020]. This figure here is the gamechanger.

“Combined, [these figures] equal profitable and sustainable growth for any businesses within the healthy sector.

“As we know, producing healthy food costs a lot more, and that’s often been a barrier to growth. But for the first time, for a big chunk of Australians … [they] are happy paying a premium. That means more manufacturers and more producers can produce healthier products, which means that volume increases. [With] volume increasing, the prices drop, which means that more people can afford to buy healthy products.”

Addressing this reported progress, we spoke to several brands offering products with healthy claims in the August issue of Retail World.

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