UK consumers still have a significant appetite to switch to healthy and sustainable diets as they grapple with the impact of COVID-19, new research from the IGD has revealed.
The study found that more than half of consumers (57%) were already changing their diets or were considering moving to healthier and more sustainable food items.
Last year, 66% of those surveyed had moved to or were considering switching to healthy and sustainable diets.
The study is based on a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on attitudes towards healthy and sustainable diets, involving more than 1,000 consumers in the UK.
This research builds on IGD’s Appetite for Change report, released in March 2020.
Respondents also opined that their diets were less healthy during the lockdown compared to 2019.
Head of nutrition and scientific affairs at IGD, Hannah Pearse, said, “We faced significant health and environmental challenges before COVID-19 and the global pandemic has brought these issues into the spotlight.
“Not only has COVID-19 highlighted our reliance on an effective and efficient food supply chain but also reinforced that our diets are inextricably linked with our health.”
Health emerged as the main motivator towards this change in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the study noted.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of participants cited health as the primary factor that motivated a change in diets, up from 58% in 2019.
The study also found that price was the biggest barrier, with 38% of shoppers believing that healthy and sustainable diets were expensive.
Other barriers include the preference for their current diet(24%), habits (23%) and a lack of familiarity (17%).