Over two thirds (70%) of European shoppers are buying healthier food, with less salt, sugar, fat or calories, according to a survey by market-research group IRI.
The group notes that a large proportion of consumers are also buying organic, vegetarian and free-from food, suggesting that people are paying more attention to their health.
“Concern for general wellness is the biggest reason that Europeans are buying healthier food options,” said Livio Martucci, director at IRI.
“They are more concerned with the quality, safety and healthiness of the food that they buy, have an intolerance to certain foods, or just want to lose weight."
The survey, which was conducted among shoppers in seven European countries, found that more than half of shoppers buy organic food, representing an increase of 35% in the last three years.
Meanwhile, 39% buy vegetarian options and 33% purchase free-from options, such as lactose-free, yeast-free or gluten-free products.
IRI adds that shoppers are also paying more attention to the quality of the food that they eat, with one third saying that they want to buy additive-free food, and another third claiming that they read the ingredients and nutritional-fact labels on food items before purchasing.
“Healthy eating alongside organic, free-from and vegetarian food is no longer a niche market to be profiled at the back end of a supermarket aisle," added Martucci.
"There is a huge opportunity here for manufacturers to innovate, and for retailers to give more shelf space to healthier food options, including own-label ranges.”
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.