Over the past few years, smaller, localized food brands have capitalized on shopper preferences. Large, global, consumer-goods makers have had little to no growth within their business. Finally, understanding that the consumer wants to be healthier, big companies are reformulating many of their products.
The Big Boys are Realizing Where the Money’s Going
The Consumer Goods Forum has a membership of about 400 retailers, manufacturers, and consumer service providers. According to one of their recent reports, about 100 companies within the forum reformulated over 175,000 products to be “healthier.” These companies included powerhouses like Nestle and Proctor and Gamble.
Scared by the competition from smaller, startup companies with a healthy mission, Nestle discovered a way to cut sugar up to 40% in its chocolate. Mars claims that almost 100% of its products have only 250 calories or less per serving. All in all, in 2016, global consumer-goods marketers reduced sugar and salt levels in approximately 20% of their products.
The heat is on.
With the increase in type-2 Diabetes and obesity, people are realizing they consume too much sugar. Unfortunately, consumers don’t always understand in what foods and where sugar may be hiding. Last year, however, the government stepped in to help the public health situation in this area. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that companies are required to add more information about sugar content on their product labels.
Besides just the U.S. taking action, Mexico and the United Kingdom have recently imposed a tax on sugary drinks. They, too, are exploring ways to try and reduce obesity.
Consumers Want Healthier Products
Customers are forcing businesses to manufacture and market healthier options. If they don’t, they are missing the earning trend. Less processing and simpler ingredients are what people are currently seeking. Restaurants also need to prepare foods with and from more natural sources.
The Wall Street Journal published a chart of how food-trend sales changed from 2015 to 2016 in favor of healthier fare. For example, over 60 billion dollars were collected in sales from gluten-free products. That was an increase of over 12% from the year before. “No artificial colors” increased in over 16% of sales. And wildly, anything “grass-fed” increased by 50%.
Experts believe there is more change to come. Less salt, less sugar, and fewer calories is just the beginning of how food-producing companies and restaurants need to restructure their products. As consumers continue to be educated on health issues, we’re sure to see more adjustments such as fewer preservatives and more organic-based products.