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Retailers commit to supporting healthy sustainable diets

Throughout the world, major shifts in dietary patterns are occurring. These changes in food and nutrition preference patterns not only affect shopping behaviours, but impact the… View Article

FOOD & DRINK

Retailers commit to supporting healthy sustainable diets

Throughout the world, major shifts in dietary patterns are occurring. These changes in food and nutrition preference patterns not only affect shopping behaviours, but impact the ways that retailers market and merchandise their stores.

The plant-based category has grown exponentially in recent years, as a new generation of health driven, eco-conscious consumers has increasingly pushed manufacturers into providing alternatives to animal-derived meals, snacks and supplements.

And it’s not just vegans that are pushing the agenda. Flexitarian diets have come to the fore, with more than 60% of people putting themselves into this category.

With plant-based diets sometimes meaning a lack in certain nutrition, consumers are also keener to supplement this lifestyle with functional foods – modified foods that contain health-aiding additives. Plant-curious consumers are now forming a high percentage of food and supplement shoppers.

Immunity, affordability (due to the cost-of-living crisis), and emotional wellbeing are at the top of consumers purchase drivers, meaning that convenience, ingredient transparency, health, taste and low-cost are the must haves when it comes to product branding.

Spotting the opportunity to become one of the first in the UK to develop a vegan, pectin-fruit based technology across its functional food range Nutrigums supplements derive from the pulp and skins of fruits and vegetables which have a natural sweetener.

Ensuring all flavourings are 100% natural, Nutrigums products are GMO free and are vegetarian or vegan-friendly – an important element for health-conscious consumers.

Vegan-friendly gummy vitamin brand Nutrigums was founded in 2020 by Fabian Whittingham and his wife Louise Whittingham. Since launching, Nutrigums has become one of the UK’s fastest growing brands of functional vitamin gummies, selling through retailers including; Amazon, Asda, Morrisons, Poundland and Superdrug in their first full year trading in 2021.

The UK is seeing a surge in sales of plant-based food and products driven by concerns over the environment, animal welfare and increased health awareness, leading to more conscious eating. The Vegan Society reported recently that 13 million Brits would be meat-free by the end of 2021.

UK Diet habits are changing as healthier, plant-based food choices become more popular, new research from Toluna has revealed.

The survey conducted by research firm Toluna asked adults aged 18+ about their food choices and preferences. It found that nearly half (49%) said they wanted to consume food and drink products that are healthier, plant-based and more sustainable.

The biggest trend was in the reduction of meat-based products, with 50% of people either starting or continuing to reduce meat intake.

We spoke to Tesco who reported that they are committed to a 300% increase in sales of meat alternatives by 2025,. They claim to be the first UK retailer to set a target of this kind, and have grown their plant-based range to over 400 products.

According to results from the Appetite for Change research series from IGD, nearly one-fifth (16%) of consumers now list the environment as their main motivator for healthy and sustainable eating – a significant increase from 2020 – while more than three-quarters (77%) have increased, or are thinking about increasing, their fruit and vegetable intake.

Earlier this week, plant-based food tech innovator, Future Farm, announced that three of its products will be available to Ocado customers across the UK from 22 August 2022. In January, Ocado reported a 34% growth in sales of vegan products.

The Future Farm product range are all certified vegan and gluten-free. Future Farm products are formulated in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals too, requiring all its suppliers to be both GMO and deforestation-free.

Using revolutionary True Texture TechnologyTM to produce meatless products with the same flavour, texture and juiciness of meat, but without harming animals or the planet, Future Farm ensures its appeal goes beyond vegans or vegetarians, grabbing the attention of meat lovers and flexitarians around the globe who are aware of the environmental impact of meat consumption.

Future Farm Grocery Lead, Daniel Tyers, said: “Since our launch onto the UK plant-based scene, in January 2020, Future Farm has gone from strength to strength, receiving positive reviews from consumers and retailers alike. So, we’re incredibly excited to be stocked by one of the UK’s largest online superstores, alongside some of the nation’s most loved and trusted brands.”

Future Farm products are already available in Sainsbury’s and Co-op Central in the UK and in 30 countries across the globe.

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