Research by Kantar Worldpanel is shedding light on trends in food purchasing, health and obesity with implications for businesses and governments.
Over the last 25 years obesity has become a major and costly public health issue in many countries.
Kantar Worldpanel tracks the purchasing habits of 30,000 British households and monitors the nutritional content of over 100,000 food and drink products. The data can provide valuable insights for brands and government clients. The findings show there is a long way to go in tackling obesity in the UK: calories, sugar and saturates continue to rise in British shopping baskets. Lower-income households buy the least healthy baskets. But there are opportunities for progress. Key insights include:
- Reformulation is the most successful route to change: 75% of positive nutritional change is driven passively through reformulation (you continue to eat what you love but it’s better for you), which doesn’t rely on changing attitudes to health. There has been a noticeable reduction in salt consumption thanks to informed government target setting and manufacturer reformulation across many categories.
- There is a communications opportunity for manufacturers providing healthier options: the total low calorie market is worth over £2.4 billion in the UK. Consumer choice exists – for example, there is a 90-fold difference in the amount of saturated fat in the ‘healthiest chilled ready meal and the least healthy’ – yet often consumers are unaware of the true options and differences available.