Heightened consumer awareness of the relationship between diet and health has increased the demand for 'functional' foods.
Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) December 31, 2009
Recessionistas and calorie counters will be leading the way in 2010, according to the Calorie Control Council. Recessionistas will be looking for value while also considering their overall health and counting calories.
Beth Hubrich, a registered dietitian and executive director of the Calorie Control Council weighed in on this issue stating, “Consumers are considering their health as well as their pocketbooks. Although there may be an uptick in the economy, people are looking not only to improve their financial health but also their physical health.” The Calorie Control Council is an international association representing the low-calorie and reduced-fat food and beverage industry and has been tracking dieting and weight loss trends for more than 20 years.
Consumers are still expecting foods to provide added benefits and are looking for the most bang for their buck. Clipping coupons and looking for the best price on their favorite, healthier foods will continue to be in vogue with “recessionistas.” At the same time, watching calories and budgeting overall caloric intake will also remain important. And, in a cash strapped economy, consumers will look for easy, inexpensive ways to exercise.
The Council predicts the following five trends when it comes to dieting, weight loss and physical activity in 2010:
1. “Calories will remain king.” Although times are tough, consumers seem to understand that “calories still count.” In a nationally projectable Calorie Control Council survey, respondents stated some of the primary reasons for using low-calorie, sugar-free and reduced-calorie products are, “to stay in better overall health,” “to eat and drink healthier foods and beverages” and “to reduce calories.” By incorporating low-calorie foods such as diet sodas, light juices, and light yogurts, consumers can control calories while still enjoying their favorite foods on a reasonable budget. According to the Council’s survey, 194 million Americans consume low and reduced calorie products.
2. “Recessionistas” will look for added value in their foods and beverages. Heightened consumer awareness of the relationship between diet and health has increased the demand for “functional” foods. Leading health organizations have defined functional foods as foods or dietary components that can provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Sales of foods and beverages with added benefits and health claims that also fit into a reasonable budget are becoming more popular as consumers spend more time “weighing” food and beverage options for both price and nutrition. As consumers have driven the food and beverage market toward preventive health and wellness, there will likely be an increased demand for these “functional” foods and beverages in the coming year.
3. Natural nutrition. Although there is no clear definition of “natural,” some consumers prefer foods and beverages they perceive as natural. With so many new sugar-free foods and beverages on the market sweetened with stevia, consumers have more options than ever. There are now many tabletop sweeteners as well as several beverages sweetened with stevia.
4. Clipping coupons will remain in vogue. Just as “recessionistas” will look for foods and beverages to provide “functional benefits” they will also look for the best deals on their favorite foods. Consumers will pay attention to “dollar days,” specials at stores, and use coupons to help them save additional money.
5. “At home fitness” will become more important. With cash being king, many consumers will opt out of a gym membership and instead rely on “at home fitness” opportunities. Consumers will look to fitness DVDs, Wii’s and other opportunities to get more exercise at home. Walking around the neighborhood, biking on local bike trails and purchasing an inexpensive pedometer will all be worthwhile investments.
The trends for 2010 will focus on foods with “added value” – both health and dollar wise – while consumers look for ways to budget calories and dollars. For more information, along with free calorie and exercise calculators, visit: http://www.caloriecontrol.org.