Consumers are turning to natural food and drink as they continue to prioritise their health and wellbeing. As consumers’ dietary knowledge increases, they are more likely to rely on a balanced diet for good health. Naturopathic nutrition is growing as a means of natural self-medication in order to prevent the onset of disease.
Consumers are seeking products with organic, low sugar and natural claims. The “Global Natural Food and Drinks Market was valued at $79,137 million in 2016, and is estimated to reach $191,973 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 13.7% from 2017 to 2023,” according to Allied Market Research. In this article, we look at what is driving this shift towards natural consumption.
The Impact of Food Scandals
Scandals in the media, such as ‘mad cow disease’, the horse meat scandal, growing allergy-related fatalities, issues with pesticides and dioxin chicken have proliferated the need for a higher level of transparency in the food and drink we consume due to serious food safety concerns.
Lack of trust has resulted in processes and ingredients being purified, encouraging a higher level of ethical transparency in supply chains. As less becomes more, refined ingredient lists and processes are meeting the demands of health-conscious consumers, addressing dietary needs and the desire for authentic food and drink.
The Locavore Movement
The Locavore movement encourages consumers to adopt a responsible dietary lifestyle, relying upon food that is grown locally. Locavores may purchase foods from farmer’s markets and community supported agricultural initiatives or even produce their own food. Consuming fewer food miles reduces pollution and the need for preservatives. The Locavore movement aims to improve local economies through improving consumer health and supporting the environment.
The Journal of Rural Health reported that in the US, consumers who live in areas where food is sourced locally, are more likely to have lower rates of obesity, diabetes, and mortality. Food consumed closer to harvest has higher nutritional value. Fewer food miles also means the need for fewer preservatives.
Our Growing Environment
As the population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, food sustainability is a key topic for concern. “Today what is consumed is greater than what we are able to regenerate. For our current lifestyle, we need 1.5 planets, and in 40 years we will need three,” reports the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition. Preventing the loss of biodiversity, climate change and resource scarcity are a few key factors driving the change in dietary habits. As a result, many consumers are choosing to adopt plant-based lifestyles to benefit our environment, whilst gaining a positive impact on their health too.
McDonaldization was a term developed by George Ritzer, an American sociologist. It encouraged a movement of fast food, faded local traditions and diversification. As retail takes to the consumer, consumer lifestyles are now subject to the influence and control of fast food systems and less thought is planned around mealtimes. Despite the Slow Food initiative, preserving traditions is becoming much more difficult and poor nutrition combined with unrestricted eating times is growing.
Greater connectivity has also not simplified our lives but filled our free time with managing notifications and greater workloads, leaving less time in our hectic lifestyles to prepare healthier and natural home-cooked food. However, as growing health concerns and disease rise, the demand for healthier and natural on-the-go options have grown at pace.
The implementation of consumption taxes, such as the sugar levy has encouraged the shift from drinks, such as high sugar sodas to alternative choices. Reformulation of products to meet healthier standards and lower calorie content is growing to satiate consumer desire for functionality. Consumers are driving the need for the balance between heathy and convenient, in which can integrate seamlessly in our hectic lifestyles.
How We Can Help?
As taste remains a primary driver in the food and drink we buy, our ingredients aim to appeal to formulators for their great taste and natural status, appealing to the growing demand of health-conscious consumers. Whether you want to add flavour or bring down sugar levels, our team of experts will find the solution for you.