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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Food and Drink arrow Healthy Eating Trumps Dieting
Healthy Eating Trumps Dieting PDF Print E-mail
Written by Insight Engineers   
13 Sep 2007

New syndicated study on health and wellbeing launches with positive findings on consumers’ awareness and attitude toward a healthy lifestyle 

Results from the UK’s first syndicated survey to look exclusively at consumers’ attitudes to health and wellbeing reveal that three out of four adults claim to have eaten healthily in the last week and see this aspect as more important to their overall health than taking exercise or vitamins or following a diet to lose weight. 
Long running marketing and public service messages which emphasis the value of nutritional food and habits and physical and mental activities on one’s overall health appear to be taken on board by consumers - three fifths of the adults interviewed report they have eaten natural/fresh/organic foods in the last seven days and 57 per cent have eaten foods with less sugar, fat and carbohydrates.

With the taking of vitamins/mineral supplements (36 per cent) and choosing beverages/drinks to benefit their health (35 per cent) running at similar levels to active exercise (35 per cent have exercised indoors and 38 per cent outdoors), consumers continue to adopt ‘easier’ routes for their overall health than, for example, following a diet plan (13 per cent overall; 16 per cent of women).  Allied to this, those who have recently quit smoking (4 per cent) are more likely to diet in preference to taking more exercise.

These results mark the launch of The World of Health and Wellbeing, the UK’s first syndicate survey dedicated solely to understanding consumers’ needs and motivations toward a broad landscape of food, drink, vitamin and fitness categories. The syndicate, produced by Insight Engineers and carried out with a sample of over 4,000 consumers, is being used by manufacturers, retailers and food service providers to better understand which areas within the health and wellbeing market consumers’ needs are being unmet or poorly addressed.

Jeff Deighton, Managing Director of insight engineers Ltd, commented:
“Today’s consumers have a repertoire of behaviours aimed at improving their overall health and wellbeing, however there are some clear differences in the activities different consumer groups put emphasis on when thinking about their overall health.  Exploring these differences in consumer perception is invaluable to brands looking to have their products or services stand out and gain share of voice within the increasingly crowded health and wellbeing marketplace.”

Health habits vary with age
While consumers of all ages seem well aware of the options for enjoying a healthy lifestyle, the emphasis on which behaviours are most important changes with age.  For example, those aged over 55 have the highest incidence of watching the level of salt, additives, and colourings in food (54 per cent); while those under 35 have the highest incidence of choosing beverages/drinks to benefit their health (38 per cent), as well as followed a diet plan to lose weight (15 per cent). 

Jeff Deighton commented:
“The focus on healthy living is a staple part of life in the naughties, particularly amongst social classes ABC1.  It is not going to fade away, and if anything, the market for products to assist in achieving our health and wellbeing goals is only growing more crowded.  That is why brands from sectors as varied as food, hot and cold drinks and alcohol, celebrity chefs, and gyms & home exercise will benefit from a consumer insight syndicate that plots their sector as it relates to other influential areas of health and well being.”  

The second stage of The World of Health and Wellbeing syndicate will go into the field in October and will focus on innovation possibilities for manufacturer, retailers and food service providers. The study will support manufacturers’ portfolio management by revealing the needs & motivations for key consumer segments, and will provide invaluable insight on the unmet or poorly addressed needs within a broad landscape of food, drink, vitamin and fitness categories.

Syndicate members will receive answers to specific market landscaping questions such as:-

  • What are the key categories that drive overall health & wellbeing?
  • How well are these needs served by the range of retailers/products/services/ approaches available?



And also be able to explore consumer data to understanding brand specific possibilities and avenues such as:-  

  • How well do your brands deliver against identified sets of needs? Is there room for healthy and less healthy products (without ditching core brand values)?
  • What kind of language would be most effective in future communication, promotion & even research activities?



Run by insight engineers Ltd, this annual vehicle includes many additional benefits for V.I.P syndicate members and will cost effectively explore consumers’ habits, buying channels, lifestyles, and attitudes toward the broad range of 20-25 categories and services (list them?).

Fieldwork on the second wave of the syndicate (n=2,400) begins in October, and sponsors who sign up by 28th September will immediately receive full data from the initial syndicate results which are outlined above, as well as have the opportunity to help shape the final design, including the additional of bespoke questions about their key brands.


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