Should brands make healthy products more affordable?17 May 2023
Do health and wellness products need to be affordable or are consumers willing to pay a premium for a health benefit despite the cost-of-living crisis? We asked two leading market experts – and received different answers.
Whether its yoghurt with added protein for energy, high-fibre bread with inulin fibre for digestive health, or even vitamin C gummies for immunity, supermarket shelves today are filled with products that promise to improve shoppers’ health.
However, the inclusion of active health ingredients often means that these functional food and drink products have a premium price tag.
Many consumers have traditionally been willing to pay this premium. However, with inflation rates on the rise and global consumers battling a cost-of-living crisis, can these premium products continue to hold appeal – or should manufacturers absorb costs to make their products more affordable?
Innova Market Insights: Health is top of the agenda
Innova Market Insights recently conducted a survey on the impact of the current cost-of-living crisis on consumer purchasing habits, and Nicole Jansen, manager for insights and innovation at the market research company, said she was “surprised” by the results.
"What we could see was that, even for people who have a lower income, as well as medium-income, [...] health was still more important to them than affordability. I think this is such a great insight because it really shows [...] how important health is for the consumer,” Jensen told this publication at Vitafoods Europe, held last week in Geneva.
“Health is on top of the agenda and they really want to invest in making sure they have functional food products that can give them the nutrients they are looking for. So yes, they are really willing to pay the extra for those products.”
FMCG Gurus: Consumers will place greater emphasis on value
However, Mike Hughes, head of research and insights at market research firm FMCG Gurus, was less confident.
He said the cost-of-living crisis was a macrotrend that would continue to impact the nutraceutical industry in the coming years as global consumers look to make savings.
"Unfortunately, I don't think [this is] going to be a short-term thing but something that heralds higher prices in the health and wellness market due to factors such as rising crude oil prices, disrupted supply chains, supply and demand etc.
“That era of consumers placing health at all costs, which we saw during the pandemic, won't be a thing anymore and what we'll see is that consumers being more considered and questioning value more when buying wellness products.”
Hughes added: "That doesn't necessarily mean they won't purchase these products, and it doesn't mean they will neglect their health, but it does mean consumers will place greater emphasis on value and scrutinise the efficacy of products because purchasing will be more considered. That will be really important."
Michelle Obama launches healthy food and drink brand for kids
16 May 2023
Former US First Lady Michelle Obama is entering the consumer packaged goods space with Plezi Nutrition, a new healthy food and beverage brand for children.Read more
High price of healthy eating in Thailand impacts young people
4 May 2023
Consumers in Thailand say they want to eat healthier but that fresh, nutritious food is too expensive and inaccessible for the average person, according to Mintel.Read more
Health innovation takes centre stage at Vitafoods Europe
26 Apr 2023
In just two weeks, Vitafoods Europe will showcase the biggest nutraceutical innovations, trends, and startups thanks to its conference programme with expert speakers, Future of Nutrition Summit, and Startup Innovation Challenge.Read more
California toxic panel approves ban on five chemical food additives
24 Apr 2023
The California Assembly’s toxic panel has approved a ban on five food additives – brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propyl paraben, Red Dye No. 3, and titanium dioxide – in food and drink products, with supporters hoping brands will reformu...Read more
Italy looks to ban cell-based meat to preserve food heritage
11 Apr 2023
Italy has moved to ban the use of cell-based food, citing quality issues and the preservation of the country’s gastronomic heritage – but the government faces criticism from food industry groups.Read more
Frugal food shoppers economise and make trade-offs to tackle inflation, says Deloitte
15 Mar 2023
Rising prices are making consumers around the world increasingly frugal, with some only buying essentials and others purchasing lower-cost meat and ingredients to manage spiraling food inflation, according to a new report by Deloitte.Read more
FrieslandCampina Ingredients expands into animal-free dairy sector
19 Jan 2023
A partnership between FrieslandCampina Ingredients and Triplebar Bio will bring animal-free dairy protein to market, a sustainable alternative to traditional dairy protein produced via precision fermentation.Read more
Kerry to sell sweet ingredients portfolio for €500m to IRCA
18 Jan 2023
Irish ingredient supplier Kerry will sell its sweet ingredients business to Italian food ingredients maker IRCA for €500 million as it looks to focus on areas where it can create the most value, its CEO said.Read more
Danone sued by environmental groups over its global plastic pollution
16 Jan 2023
A group of environmental groups, led by ClientEarth, is suing Danone for failing to adhere to France’s duty of vigilance law through its use of single-use plastic and pollution.Read more
Regulations spur healthy snacking in Europe
15 Dec 2022
Healthy snack demand is on an upward trajectory in Europe, fuelled by products attaching health halos to their products, according to latest figures by Euromonitor – but regulations may be the real driver.Read more