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What next for Health in Food? Consumer Lifestyles, Nutrition, Food Labelling and Product Choice

Nutrition playing a key role in preventing and managing non-communicable diseases

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2014-01-07 14:12:04 - What next for Health in Food? Consumer Lifestyles, Nutrition, Food Labelling and Product Choice - a new market research report on

As healthcare has improved, the impact of infectious or communicable diseases has declined, with the health agenda now being increasingly dominated by non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Indeed, in 2008, the World Health Organization reported that almost 60% of the 57 million global deaths were a result of non-communicable disease, and this figure is projected to rise by 17% over the next decade.

Nutrition plays a key role in preventing and managing many non-communicable diseases, and this provides the food industry with a prime opportunity to capitalize on the market opportunities this shift in health and disease has created. The most significant barriers to the health trend can be broken into three categories: ´lifestyle factors´, ´personal choice´,



and ´institutional factors´, and offers actionable insight for manufacturers and marketers seeking to capitalize on the considerable opportunities for growth in the food market created by health trends.

To ensure their product development, manufacturing and marketing strategies take maximum advantage of the food market´s relationship with health, organizations in the food industry must remain sensitive to those barriers that stand between consumers and health.

The continued fallout of the trying economic climate following the financial crisis casts a long shadow, and health and nutrition have been detrimentally affected by tightened purse strings as consumers sacrifice the healthier aspects of their diets as a cost saving measure. This ´nutritional austerity´ phenomenon is not new, with consumers from poorer backgrounds having conventionally eaten less nutritious meals; as the current economic weakness continues, this trend is spreading.

As healthy lifestyles become an increasingly prevalent topic of media concern, and a string of often conflicting ´fad diets´ make headlines, consumers have become increasingly confused about what actually constitutes a healthy diet – this confusion can moreover often breed scepticism, which can have a long lasting impact on consumer choice.

Rather than seeking to push customers towards or away from certain ingredients, foods, and food groups, we suggest that in this environment of confusion and scepticism, marketers ought to embrace a more positive "everything in moderation" message, as to prevent the confusion caused by contradictory health claims. However, whilst an "everything in moderation" diet is simple in principle, consumers have struggled to put this into practice, and marketers need to develop new ways to enable portion control and encourage customers to broaden the range of foods that they eat.

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Mike King
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