Research from Nielsen has revealed that consumers are increasingly opting for specialised diets that address their desire to eat organic, low-fat, low-carb, or eliminate ingredients based on food sensitivities, allergies or personal convictions.
Sixty-four per cent of respondents in Nielsen’s ‘Global Health and Ingredient – Sentiment Survey’ said they follow a diet that limits or prohibits consumption of at least some food or ingredients. Response rates in Africa/Middle East (84 per cent) and Asia-Pacific (72 per cent) were higher than the global average. Sixty-eight per cent of respondents said they were willing to pay more for foods without undesirable ingredients.
The survey outlined that there were some key drivers for the trend. Allergies or intolerances were cited by 36 per cent of survey respondents as the reason for needing to alter diets within a household. Cultural and religious customs account for regional dietary preferences in some cases, while 70 per cent of global respondents said they make dietary choices to help prevent health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol or hypertension.
“Consumers want to eat in ways that address real dietary concerns, but they can’t do it alone,” Nielsen Strategic Insights Director Andrew Mandzy said. “They need help from food manufacturers to offer products formulated with an eye towards food sensitivities and other specialised diets, and they need help from retailers to stock shelves with a proper assortment of foods that cater to a wider variety of consumer needs.”