Shoppers want health and more sustainable products, research reveals.

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

NielsenIQ data found shoppers want health and more sustainable products
NielsenIQ data found shoppers want health and more sustainable products

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Shoppers have expressed a desire for healthy and more sustainable products, new data from NielsenIQ has revealed.

It found that 57% of UK consumers believe that companies should be taxed heavily if they are producing or promoting unhealthy choices while 60% of UK households said it was important to buy sustainably produced grocery products to help save the environment. 

NielsenIQ revealed that ​54% of UK consumers paid attention to labelling/food nutritional values when grocery shopping, with sugar (45%), fat (41%) and salt (31%) content having the biggest impact on purchase decisions.

Personal health

However, data from NielsenIQ also showed that shoppers in the UK face a challenge of doing good for their personal health and planet while managing the rise in food and living expenses as a result of the current inflation in the country.  

The three most important concerns about grocery products for UK shoppers were reducing food waste (45%), buying local/British (36%) and minimal/no packaging (26%).

However, although consumers expressed a will to switch to sustainable product packaging, shopping behaviour did not always reflect this willingness. 

NielsenIQ said a challenge for shoppers now is combining a desire for less meat consumption with managing budgets. 

Better for the planet

In a NielsenIQ survey conducted in November 2021, 2.7m households in the UK were shown to have a vegan or vegetarian living on the premises, while 10.5m households, at least once a week, were replacing meat based meals with vegan or vegetarian alternatives. Of those surveyed 40% stated it was better for their health and 31% stated it was better for the planet. 

However, NielsenIQ data shows that meat alternative mince is 26% more expensive per kg than beef mince. With this in mind, an average basket spend for meat costs £40.99, rising to £43.60 with meat alternatives. 

Katrina Bishop, UK Thought Leadership Activation Manager at NielsenIQ, said: “With 49% of households focussing on value for money when buying new food and drink products, UK shoppers find themselves in a bit of a fix as they struggle to balance tight budgets with their health and sustainability values.

"We may see a slight shift in priorities from shoppers as they seek to find alternative ways to balance this, for example, cutting back on grocery spending and on meat may result in cooking with fresh vegetables rather than seeking out meat alternatives.”

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