Weight-conscious Irish consumers are eschewing diet bars and shakes, and embracing a balanced diet of unprocessed foods rich in protein and wholegrains, according to Nielsen’s Ireland Healthy Eating Report.
While Ireland is currently on track to becoming the fattest European nation by 2030, Nielsen's study indicates that Irish people looking to lose weight are taking sensible steps, with 74% planning to cutting down on sweets, 50% intending to cut down their portion sizes, and 57% aiming to eat more fresh, natural foods.
The report also shows that health staples such as porridge oats have increased in sales by 4% since 2012, while the rest of the cereal market has taken a hit and fallen by –15%. Brown rice sales are up by 40%, as white rice sales drop by –8%.
Irish people rank ‘high in protein’ as an important health attribute for food products, creating significant opportunities in the market for protein-enriched dairy products. Nut butter sales have increased 33% since 2012 too, while 24% of Irish consumers plan to buy more fish as a low calorie protein source. The ‘free-from’ sector is benefiting from evolving attitudes towards food, as milk alternatives (almond milk, soya milk etc.) have seen 40% growth in retail grocery sales over the last few years.
As shoppers opt for better quality, ‘good’ fats, products like coconut oil and rapeseed oil have seen significant growth.
The fruit and vegetable aisle remains a key source for healthy diets, and with consumers seeking a wider variety of product, sales of kale have more than doubled since 2012, while squash sales are up by 20%.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan