Worldwide more than 1.9 billion adults are overweight, of these over 650 million are obese , and over 422 million people have diabetes . Physical inactivity and unhealthy diet are well known risk factors for these noncommunicable diseases which individuals can address for themselves. Consumers’ awareness of the influence they have on their own health appears to be steadily increasing.
There are mounting bodies of evidence supporting the influence of food on health and that consumers’ awareness of this connection is growing. As a result, consumers are looking for products that support their health: 63% of the European consumers state that they try to make healthy food choices to address their health concerns . Among European consumers, 2 in 3 people says what he/she eats and drinks has an influence on his/her mood. They are even willing to pay more for healthier products (65%).
When considering obesity and diabetes specifically, more than three-quarters of European consumers consider these diseases a major issue in their country . Younger generations are more concerned about these health issues . Of the silent generation (born 1925 to 1945) around 54% is concerned about obesity and 50% is concerned about diabetes. In comparison, of the Gen Y generation, also known as millennials (born 1985 to 2000), 65% is concerned about obesity and 62% about diabetes.
American research states that 77% of American citizens try to limit or avoid sugars in their diet . Sensus research shows that 60-64% of European consumers monitors sugar and/or fat intake, probably to address health concerns. Almost half of American consumers indicate they adopted a new eating pattern in an effort to lose weight. The younger generations would also consider buying products which address obesity and diabetes in the future. Around 45% would consider to buy products to address these health concerns in the future, or are already buying such products. Remarkably, more men are concerned about diabetes than women.
This growing awareness of consumers on the role of food on health and wellbeing opens up opportunities for development of healthier products.