11 May Insider View: April 2015
…… perhaps the solution is simply to eat less?
The pathway to launching foods that contribute to a healthier lifestyle and aid in tackling the growing problem of obesity is littered with good intentions, complicated by Government and pressure group intervention and overlaid by consumer needs for products that taste good as well as do them good.
The impact of this cocktail of influences can confuse and differentiate beyond the needs and understanding of the average consumer. Yet, as illustrated in our recent Shopper Survey*, a third of the total sample (and nearly 40% of 18-34 year olds) claimed to be buying more healthy food compared to a year ago. Just how well is the industry meeting this need?
An established trend is the straightforward offer of healthier versions of well loved favourites. Coca Cola Life, freshly packaged and presented in a new green livery, meets its Government inspired commitment to offer lower calorie alternatives, but has been condemned by critics for still containing 19% of the average daily intake of sugar. More importantly consumers were not convinced either about the need, or the delivery, complaining about the mouthfeel and aftertaste after trial. Easier to understand amongst its target market was Sweet Potato Curry from Iceland’s partnership with Slimming World generating a near maximum category score (42). Muller, too, offers an easy way to cut calories with a healthier version of an old favourite with Light Goodie’s – a lower fat/calorie version of their standard Toffee Hoops Crunch Corner saving 108 calories per pot, rating a respectable 41.
A more contemporary trend introduces products that blend traditional and modern ingredients, or simply try to introduce healthier food ideas. Here the response is mixed. Oats+Chia (seeds for the uninitiated) bombed with consumers, but they liked Waitrose Sweet Potato, Tomato and Feta Roulades and Tropicana adding a dash of Pumpkin to their fruit juice. But, Aniseed, Fennel & Liquorice Infusion – a bridge too far for all but a committed few.
* Source: Cambridge MR Shopper U&A Jan-Feb 2015, sample size: 360
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A TASTE OF CONSUMER OPINION. . . on premium foods
- ‘Affordable, convenient’ and ‘tastes great’ – testers loved this Sweet Potato Curry from Iceland in partnership with Slimming World. (Product of the month Review 150406)
- Has Pulled Pork past its sell by? These Tesco BBQ Pulled Pork Bites were ‘more like chicken nuggets’ so not one to impress guests this summer (Review 150408).
- Burton’s have added a salty crunch to their Cadbury’s Fingers – a familiar format but enough of a twist for 9 in 10 to rate it ‘new and different’ (Review 150422)
- Gnosh adds a ‘dollop of posh’ to the frozen food fixture; a rival for Gu to hide from the kids, with a Chocolate Melt packed full of ‘gooey middle’ (Review 150423)
- Spending £4.49 on Oats + Chai proved hard to swallow. Dairy free by virtue of being made with coconut oil and water rather than milk. (Review 150401)
- Coca Cola Life promised something different but failed to please and tasted just as sweet as a standard Coca Cola, despite containing a third less sugar and calories (Review 150424