An increasing number of individuals today are more conscious of what they are consuming. With the rise in health awareness, comes the rise in consumption of natural products. More and more people think twice about what they are putting into their body.
Those who care about the nutritional value want their snack food and beverages to be functional. They desire vitamins and minerals, as well as other nutrients (probiotics, protein, etc.) to be included in what they eat and drink. Health-focused individuals want their food to provide them with more than just the “full” feeling, but the satisfaction that they have added health benefits.
Who Is Choosing Healthy Options?
100 million (or nearly half) of American adults today are single and many of them live alone. Given that so many people are “flying solo”, they're also spending less time in the kitchen. Because millennials are entering adulthood now, and they view health, nutrition, and branding differently than boomers, they’re a target market for healthy food and beverages.
Consumers today want to view their food choices as healthier, more natural (or organic), less processed, and better-tasting than those in the past. “Fresh” is their most important food criteria. Younger individuals especially, tend to think of healthy food and beverages as an investment in their health, so they want several options that are also convenient to them.
According to Mintel, use of “functional foods and beverages” (or healthy choices) is highest among the youngest consumers and generally decreases with age. Millennials are the most likely to show interest in the benefits of healthy food and beverage options. Parents and Millennials especially, are concerned about avoiding artificial ingredients, dyes, and other ‘filler’ products.
An Increase in Allergen Concern
Another main reason for choosing healthy choices is that they are more natural. Six million children have food allergies, according to the Pediatrics Journal. Ninety percent of all food allergy reactions are caused by eight major foods: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. Americans are recognizing their allergies, and because of this, more manufactures are creating entirely free-from products so consumers can enjoy without worry.
An increased number of the population consumes whole or natural products due to food allergies and/or dietary restrictions. According to a study released in 2014 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011. Oftentimes, when seeking out food to meet those needs, those with allergies or dietary restrictions turn to natural foods, as they have fewer filler ingredients. Just over half (52%) of consumers look for foods absent of artificial ingredients and 50% want products without artificial sweeteners used. Also high on the list of ingredients to avoid are high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or preservatives, MSG, artificial colors, and growth hormones.
Our Health Initiatives
We love the communities we serve. So naturally we want to keep them healthy and strong. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the St. Cloud Area Family YMCA to offer the Bernick’s Family Fitness Series in conjunction with Leighton Broadcasting and St. Cloud Times Media.
The mission of the series is to improve the health and wellness of our community through a series of fun, educational, activity-based, family-friendly fitness events. The events are seasonal and promote healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility to Central Minnesota.
Our ongoing, annual events are the Family Snow Games, Ride and Roll, Family Track and Field Day, and the Wishbone Walk/Run. Click here to learn more about our health and fitness values and initiatives.
There are a multitude of healthy food and beverages on the market, and rightfully so as their demand continues to increase. To offer or expand your healthy options, talk to a Bernick’s Rep.