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UK consumers prioritising healthy food as inflation falls – FoodManufacture.co.uk

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According to Savanta’s Q1 2024 Grocery Eye Report, a rolling survey that tracks consumer behaviour every quarter, 49% of shoppers reported that they were eating more healthy food and 32% said they are ‘feeling healthier’ than last year.

The number of people feeling healthier is up 7% on the same time last year, with Savanta attributing this trend to the evolving demands of young people as food inflation falls.

Elsewhere, 37% of respondents said they are cooking from scratch more often, while 40% expressed an interest in products focused on gut health.

There has also been a 4% increase in consumers that eat a plant-based diet, rising from 8% to 12% between Q1 of 2023 and this latest report.

High prices remain a concern for many people though, with 42% stating that the cost of healthy food has led them to be less healthy.

Commenting on the implications of the research for F&B production, Savanta senior director Julie Vigne told Food Manufacture: “There is a real opportunity for the food and drink industry to capitalise on UK consumers increased appetite for, and changing understanding of, healthy food. Our research points towards what we’re already seeing on supermarket shelves, such as new ranges of gut health and high protein yoghurts.

 “But there is plenty more the industry could be doing, with products, offers and new technologies that address the growing concern around ultra-processed food that is likely to redefine healthy eating definitions in years to come. Many consumers are now looking for simpler food, with fewer ingredients and fewer additives. The challenge will be delivering them at a price range that doesn’t feel prohibitive to many consumers.”

The research forms part of Savanta’s Grocery Eye report, which dates back to 2014 and surveys 500 UK nationally representative shoppers based on age, geography and affluence.

In other news, UK beer manufacturer Greene King has announced plans to invest £40m into the development of a “state-of-the-art” brewery in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

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