The Future Holds ‘Better-for-You’ Foods for Consumers

Jul 08, 2009
George Anderson

By George Anderson

The fact that obesity is reaching epidemic-like levels
in some portions of the United States suggests that large numbers of consumers
are more interested in convenience and taste than they are in the nutritional
value of the foods they eat. Despite this, research from the NPD Group predicts
that the market for “better for you” foods will be among the fastest growing
over the next 10 years.

“As the population
ages, levels of concern regarding food and nutrition are expected to rise,” said
Ann Hanson, author of the report and director of product development at NPD,
in a press release. “For this reason, ‘better for you’ food options are forecasted
to grow strongly.”

The market research firm, which has studied the eating
habits of Americans going back 30 years, has released its A Look
into The Future of Eating
report to project the trends that will shape
food manufacturing and retailing in the years to come.

“The study’s findings have major implications for food
companies in terms of long-term product and packaging innovation, distribution,
and recipe development,” said Ms. Hanson.

While “better for you” products are expected to grow, others
including quick assembly lunch/dinner foods – such as sandwiches; some breakfast
foods; and side dish breads – are expected to experience a decline.

Discussion Questions: How
likely do you think it is that a sizable number of Americans will shift
to “better-for-you” eating habits over the next 10 years? From a marketing
perspective, can “better
for you” foods make it if consumers think nutritious before

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6 Comments on "The Future Holds ‘Better-for-You’ Foods for Consumers"

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Carol Spieckerman
11 years 9 months ago

The problem is that some “better-for-you” foods are the ones that have the dark cloud hanging over right now. All of the news stories around crack-downs on fresh produce safeness could have consumers copping a nothing-to-lose attitude. Also, if diabetes rates continue to climb, it could very well become the baseline as people get used to living with the sick statistics. I don’t see a compelling case for an uptick in “better-for-you.”

Gene Hoffman
Gene Hoffman
11 years 9 months ago

Those consumers who can afford to embrace “better-for-you,” will. Those consumers who’ll have to struggle in the future to make ends meet will not; they’ll focus on how to satisfy the starved sounds in the stomach.

Tomorrow’s question: Which sector will become the larger?

David Livingston
11 years 9 months ago

For some reason, I feel many people are eating better, yet still getting fatter. My conclusion is, the market for healthy foods will increase and so will obesity.

Steven Johnson
11 years 9 months ago
Industry giant NPD who is now a food research leader in 9 developed countries released a report by Ann Hanson called A look into The Future of Eating on Tuesday July 7, 2009. In the press release, most interesting was the note that restaurant meals eaten in-home would rise 20% during the next ten years. This report appears to reaffirm ilk reports from The Hartman Group, and Technomic that “better-for-you” food and how people are eating is changing. Restaurateurs may face the largest challenges for restaurant quality style, packaging, and a large variety of prepared food components that are portable are surfacing in Supermarkets, Grocery Stores and Convenience Stores. I call this trend that is obviously garnering much attention the Grocerant niche. Restaurant quality food, prepped and portable is empowering the consumer’s choice on what and where to eat. No longer do consumers have to drive out of there way to a “destination” restaurant; they can stop on the way home and pick up a variety of qualitative food components ready to eat. In the… Read more »
Lee Peterson
11 years 9 months ago

I was struck once by what a French friend of mine once said; he told me that, “Americans are amazing, we don’t like to admit it, but when you make up your minds to do something, you just all do it–you say smoking is bad and everyone quits, whereas here, forget it!”

So, just as with seat belts, catalytic converters, cigarettes and smog, I think eventually, Americans will realize that the food system we’re currently ensconced in is killing us…and we’ll change it. And once it starts going, it’ll go fast.

Cathy Hotka
11 years 9 months ago

I’m with David Livingston. People will absolutely buy more good-for-you food, and will eat more of it. We in America are obsessed with giant portions and oversized plates, and if changing our food preferences lets us eat more and feel less guilt, we’ll do it.


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