Consumers Want Healthier Food, Even if it Costs More

As prices rise, and consumers tighten their belts, US shoppers are still filling their carts with fresh food.

Status Quo

Many Americans make poor food choices, with significant consequences.

  • 85% of US healthcare spending stems from diet-related chronic diseases.
  • More than 80% of citizens don’t eat enough fruit or vegetables, per the FDA.
  • ~60% of calories consumed by Americans are ultra-processed foods like soda/snacks.

But, a new Deloitte survey found that the majority of consumers want healthier food options, and many are willing to pay a premium for them.

Cost vs. Benefit

Confronting inflation, shoppers are cutting costs, but not on fresh food.

  • 84% consider health and wellness when purchasing fresh food.
  • 55% will pay a premium for foods that contribute to health and wellness.

More telling, consumers increasingly view food as medicine.

  • 75% of respondents believe eating well can be “the best medicine.”
  • 78% say eating the right food can prevent and treat health problems.

Beyond a one-size-fits-all diet, 75% of shoppers are seeking more personalized nutrition options, with 40% of people willing to share medical data with grocers to receive custom food recommendations.

But… information and access gaps remain — 62% of consumers are confused about which foods are healthy, while 40% don’t fully understand what “food as medicine” means.

Worse, some 17M Americans live in food deserts, and 10% of US households experienced food insecurity in 2021.

Punchline: Moving away from the modern American diet and toward a healthier future, the report also said progress requires a concerted effort — from Big Food, the government, and beyond.

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