Healthy eating is increasingly on consumer’s agendas, with millennials leading the way

Published at 00:01 AM on 26 August 2016

PwC Report: Healthy eating is increasingly on consumer’s agendas, with millennials leading the way

Healthy eating is moving up the consumer agenda thanks to increased media exposure, with millennials[1] leading the charge, according to a new report from PwC.

The PwC report says that, over the past year, nearly half  (47%) of the 18-34 age-group surveyed had changed their eating habits towards a healthier diet, as  compared to just 23% of those aged over 55.

Change in eating habits since last year, by age

 

  Chart

Further data also shows that 53% of those aged between the ages of 18-34 expect to change their eating habits in the next year compared to 19% of those aged over 55. Highlighted as a main factor for the enthusiasm amongst millennials to improve their eating habits is the increasing media coverage of healthy eating across social media, including bloggers and mobile apps.

 

Expected change in eating habits in the next year, by age

Chart 2

Other findings shows that consumer definitions for ‘healthy eating’ vary, with millennials attributing more trend-based meanings (e.g. high protein, high vitamins) versus older consumers’ more traditional definitions (e.g. low fat). Food processers and retailers have acknowledged the increasing interest in healthy eating and are adjusting their menus and products to reflect these trends.

From a regional perspective, 59% of 18-34 year olds in the North-East consider themselves to be eating healthier compared to last year, whilst Wales had the highest percentage of 18-34 year olds (67%) expecting to improve their eating habits over the next year.

In terms of older generations, 43% of over 55 year olds in Northern Ireland expect to improve their diet over the next year whilst Yorkshire & Humber has seen the biggest change over the last year with 42% stating that they have changed their eating habits for the better.  

Commenting on the report, Eleanor Scott, Director at PwC said:

"Most people want to mix and match, balancing healthy eating with the occasional indulgence.

“Consumers are more likely to have healthy meals out during the week, driven by these being more everyday eating out occasions, and are more likely to treat themselves at weekends.

“In terms of eating out, 47% of all consumers consider it important that a restaurant offers healthy options. You can see many restaurants addressing this trend by adding a healthier alternative to their menus, for example, a thin crust pizza or a bun-less burger."

Lisa Hooker, Partner at PwC added:

“There are a range of ‘healthy’ food-to-go operators targeting the mid-week lunch occasion where people are more likely to focus on eating healthily.

“In addition, food operators are now focusing more on freshness and provenance given its importance to consumers when eating out.”

Ends.

Notes for Editors:

To arrange an interview or request further information, please contact Stephen Young on: stephen.m.young@uk.pwc.com/07789808745.

About the Survey:

Survey was conducted in July 2016, with over 1,000 consumers across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland being asked about their eating habits and the importance of healthy eating.

About PwC:

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 208,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

©2016 PricewaterhouseCoopers. All rights reserved.

Ends.

[1] Millennials, also known as “Generation Y” or the “Net Generation” are generally defined as the demographic cohort consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.


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About PwC

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 208,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com.

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details. © 2016 PwC. All rights reserved

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