More Consumers Seeking Healthy and Tasty On-The-Go Fods and Beverages

June 28, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News

Harleysville, Pa. (June 2006) – The Natural Marketing Institute, the leading provider of strategic consulting, consumer insights and market research services for the health, wellness and sustainability marketplace, today expanded on one of the key trends it has identified as having a significant impact in 2006.

With consumers leading increasingly busy and hectic lives, and the average dinnertime being pushed past 6:30 p.m., the necessity for healthy “hold-me-over” snacks is clearly evident. Nearly three out of four U.S. consumers (72%) believe that snacking can be part of a healthy diet, a belief that shows compound annual growth of 4% since 2003. And 59% express interest in healthy foods and beverages that can be eaten on-the-go, a trend that is expected to continue as foods/beverages become an extension of consumers' activity-filled lifestyles.

Specific types of snacks are also needed by different demographic groups: Generation Y, who are looking for more nutritional components in their snacks than can typically be found in some potato chips and pretzels, and Baby Boomers are looking for ways to sustain energy or even manage weight. Functional snacks (those which contain specific ingredients that have a positive effect on a specific health function) are also expected to grow over the next decade.

“Savvy companies will target these consumers with products that combine the benefits of convenience, health, nutrition, and taste into a truly integrated wellness platform,” states Steve French, Managing Partner of The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI). “In fact, the importance of taste versus health has shown an annual increase of 15% over the past three years, indicating that consumers are expecting the convergence of health and nutrition into products that meet their taste demands.”

Healthy food options in restaurants and other away from home locations are also top of mind for consumers as nearly half say that they make an attempt to maintain the same healthy standards when eating away from home. And a similar portion of the U.S. population indicates that they would eat more fast food products if they were available in healthier versions. “This would seem to suggest that consumers know the health risks associated with not-so-healthy products, but are making trade-offs based on other factors such as convenience or time pressures. Although the foodservice industry has started to react to consumer demands, there exists many opportunities in the marketplace,” says French. Additional opportunities for healthy menus also extend to consumers who are looking to purchase organic foods and beverages at restaurants (29%), with compound annual growth of 16% since 2001. And finally, purchasing meatless products when dining out is important for 22% of consumers.

According to French, "Whether it's snacks, meals, or away from home eating, the opportunities to effectively integrate meaningful and relevant health and wellness platforms are evident across a plethora of industries."


NMI is a strategic consulting, market research, and business development company specializing in the health, wellness, and sustainable marketplace. For more information on NMI’s trend reports, proprietary databases and other services, visit NMI’s web site at