Health and wellbeing has become a positive trend across the grocery sector in Ireland. More and more shoppers are making healthier choices when selecting items on the shelfs as well as paying more attention to the ingredients used in their favourite brands. As a result, Irish consumers are demanding healthier options to be displayed in supermarkets, with seven out of 10 Irish people wanting help to eat healthier, according to a Bord Bia study.
This trend represents a major opportunity for brands that are looking for new ways to grow in their category. In fact, according to Euromonitor, a health and wellness strategy will be a strategic business imperative, not an option anymore. And numbers back up the need for such a strategy - Kantar Woldpanel identified the healthy trend as one of the main drivers of the growth in value (+2.2%) and volume (+2.2%) that the grocery sector experienced during 2017.
Products with high levels of sugar are falling under pressure as 59% of consumers check for sugar content and this rises to 71% when considering the number of parents checking their children’s sugar intake, based on a Bord Bia study. On the other hand, 84% are trying to eat high fibre foods while 88% see protein as an important part of their diet. Over the past five years, shopping baskets are being filled with +17% more fibre and +11.5% more protein.
The pressure is not only coming from the consumers but also from the government who this year will be imposing a Tax of 30 cent per litre on drinks with over eight grams of sugar per 100 millilitres along with a reduced rate of 20 cent per litre on drinks with between five and eight grams of sugar per 100 millilitres.
Some of the main trends that will be favoured by consumers who place high importance on health considerations are:
Fresh is better
Consumers are increasingly demanding high quality fresh produce. On 2016 alone Aldi saw a year-on-year sales increase of over 50% across its health food ranges, while sales of fish jumped 40%. In fact, the non-availability of fresh produce can influence retailers sales as 59% of consumers stated that their choice of supermarket is influenced by the availability of fresh products.
Plant based protein
Plant protein continues to be an important trend in the grocery market. In the latest Checkout Conference, Robbie Clark, Director at Empathy Research, pointed out that the shopper of the future will be more inclined to eat plant based protein with 19% of those who currently eat meat are likely to reduce their meat consumption in the next 5 years. Currently 19% of consumers would classify their diet as one which focusses on primarily trying to eat vegetables, increasing to 27% when analysing those aged under 34.
The other trend related to health and wellness that is increasing in popularity is the consumption of functional food. More consumers are looking to buy foods that have more healthy benefits beyond basic nutrition, turning to food as medicine.
As Irish consumers are looking to have a healthier diet and being more conscious about the ingredients used in products, it’s very important that brands and retailers pay special attention to this trend and evaluate in what way they can sync into this pattern to drum up their sales.
At CPM our expert teams specialise in the science of selling in the retail sector. Growing sales for our clients, powered by our people is what makes us so successful. To know more about how CPM can help you grow within the health and wellness category, contact us at email@example.com or call +353 1 7080 300