Unsurprisingly, Australian consumers are becoming more conscious of making healthy choices. The seismic shift of natural health into the mainstream has been coming for quite some time. What may surprise you is why health-conscious consumers are on the rise.
Recent research found that only 1 in 10 consumers eat healthily because of a medical or dietary requirement, such as coeliac disease or diabetes. The vast majority of consumers are driven to better-for-you choices by other motivations.
With 3 in 5 Australians avoiding unhealthy foods, the market of health-conscious consumers is a large one to capture. With so many people seeking healthy choices, what are the drivers and the products that will meet demand?
When consumers think about nutrition choices, they choose products that meet their health and wellness goals without compromising flavour. United by their desire for wellness, beyond that, they're a diverse bunch driven by different concerns.
Research shows that there are broad categories that health-conscious consumers fit into. Some are more aware of and willing to pay more for sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Others buy what they know or use price as a deciding factor when shopping. Another subset of shoppers actively seeks out new and innovative products to try.
Marketing efforts that group health-conscious consumers into a single category will fail to cut through, as not all motivations are on pricing, sustainability or familiarity. Instead, better understand your customer's wellness and health goals.
Key consumer trends
Linked to health and wellness goals, three key trends currently significantly impact consumers.
The keto diet remains one of the top trending diets for Australians. Characterised by eating low-carb, high-fat foods, this way of eating may help the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. This metabolic process is called 'ketosis'.
The challenge for many keto eaters is the availability of low-carb convenience foods. Brands like Keto Naturals, The Monday Food Co., Low Carb Life, Vitawerx and PBCo. make the keto diet accessible and easy to follow.
While 22% of Australians follow a vegetarian diet, more and more consumers opt for a flexitarian diet as they add plant-based foods to their plates. From plant-based meat alternatives to plant-based pantry staples, the plant-based consumer is motivated by health, animal welfare and environmental concerns.
Consumers are increasingly finding opportunities for snacking to fit in with their busy lifestyles. No mealtime is immune from this 'snackification'. The trend is towards health and convenience, from the breakfast morning snack to multiple daily snacks.
One of the opportunities for the modern health-conscious consumer is to integrate products onto regular shelves. Health is becoming ingrained in shopping choices beyond the traditional health food aisle.
When shoppers choose healthier and mainstream products, it helps to normalise the healthy shopping experience. It also supports consumer motivations, comparing prices, nutrition information panels, and other product claims to make faster choices.