Consumer Focus: Adapting to consumer health needs

Health is a long-standing concern for consumers and therefore is a topic AHDB monitors regularly. In 2019, AHDB published a report which looked at the evolution of health and how the supply chain reacted to changing consumer needs. Two years on, health is still a hot topic, attracting more media attention and governmental focus, heightened by the global coronavirus pandemic.

Key facts

  • Seven in ten consumers claim to try to lead a healthy lifestyle – ‘health’ is a driver of food choice for 27% at home and 6% of out-of-home consumption
  • The estimated value of the retail health market is £26.5bn – growing by 8.1% year-on-year
  • The recent growth of the health market has been driven by ‘benefits-led’ health (diets focused on what you get out of the food consumed, for example, vitamin or fibre content)
  • Health is often more important at the beginning of the week, with the percentage of food and drink consumed for health reasons declining the closer the day is to the weekend
  • Consumer confidence has a strong link to health – in times of reduced consumer confidence, the percentage of food and drink consumed for health reasons declines

Key opportunities                                 

  • Clearly communicate the health benefits of red meat and dairy and the role they play in a healthy balanced diet is important to help maintain and grow the customer base
  • Build clear messaging on how vitamins and minerals found in red meat and dairy support consumer health and wellbeing – for instance, vitamin B12 and iron reduce tiredness and fatigue
  • Acknowledge that health is less of a purchase driver for red meat and dairy consumption and provide clear messaging on which red meat or dairy products to purchase when consumers want a healthy meal or snack
  • Inspire tasty and healthy meals which include red meat or dairy, while communicating the health benefits, as well as flavour and versatility, of red meat and dairy