In 2015, UK consumers are vowing to improve their work/life balance, reduce feelings of stress and spend more time with family and friends. According to new research from Canadean, food and drink manufacturers that help them achieve this goal will do well this year. Canadean research finds that 28 percent of UK consumers are not confident about the state of the economy, while 24 percent indicate that they will confine grocery spending to essential needs this year as they do not have the money to spend on treats. The survey also finds that 46 percent of consumers have suffered from disrupted sleeping patterns in the last six months, and more than half of UK consumers want to reduce stress.
According to Canadean, consumers will increasingly seek out products that lead to feelings of relaxation and escapism. They will also seek out products that are positioned around sharing with friends and family, as consumers feel favorable towards products that encourage them to visit and spend time with others.
A separate market research study found consumers are interested in products that are high in fiber. Sixty-seven percent of the 1,000 consumers interviewed by Health Focus International found “high in natural fiber" as a very appealing fiber claim for food and beverage products. The research results showed a preference for natural productswith as many as 47 percent of respondents actively seeking natural fibersand 45 percent considering non-GMO (genetically modified organism) products as “better."
Sixty-two percent of respondents prefer chicory root fiber as the most natural soluble fiber while 42 percent and 3 percent of consumers, respectively, perceive soluble corn fiber and polydextrose as natural fibers. Additionally, chicory root was perceived as less likely to contain GMOs, with 57 percent of the respondents not linking chicory root fiber to GMO.
Results show that consumers are particularly concerned about the sugar content in food and drinks, with 63 percent of respondents indicating they try to avoid or limit sugar. Consumers look for the calorie, fat and sugar content of a product before purchasing it (69 percent, 65 percent and 62 percent, respectively).
The research results also indicate a high level of consumer awareness of fiber being an important ingredient for a healthy and balanced diet. Ninety-three percent of consumers responded that fiber is good for their overall health. Consumers are also aware that fibers contribute to a healthy gut and weight management, with 91 percent responding that fiber is beneficial for their intestinal health and 68 percent saying fiber helps them feel fuller longer. Moreover, 63 percent maintain that fiber helps them eat less during the day.
More than 60 percent of the respondents noted that breakfast cereals, cereal bars, bread and yogurt are most suitable to provide digestive health benefits
“These results clearly show that consumers are actively looking for natural functionality in their daily diets," said Joseph O’Neill, president and general manager of BENEO Inc.