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However, buyers often do not know how to lead a healthy lifestyle, and cannot even come to a consensus about what it is. In a new report, the Food Marketing Institute Foundation looks at health, consumer and retail topics from different perspectives. In this article, you will find conclusions based on the views of a wide range of industry experts, publications and data.


The Oxford Dictionary contains the following definition of health: “a condition free from disease or injury.” It may be accurate, but when it comes to consumers, the reality is much more complex. Everyone has their own definition of health, which depends on age, income and other life circumstances. There is also no consensus on which foods or habits are good for health. Many are confused by the inconsistency of information from different sources.

“Health” and “healthy lifestyle”. The general theme of health and wellness is gradually evolving into the theme of health and a healthy lifestyle. Health in the meaning of wellness and disease-free (“wellness”) remains an important concept and is used extensively in this report. At the same time, a healthy lifestyle is a broader concept, it includes taking care of your emotional health, and about the level of energy and about proper sleep. That is why the concept of “healthy lifestyle” is becoming more and more important.
New expectations from the retail industry. Consumers see food retailers as their health ally, and they are offering increasingly daring and surprising initiatives. However, even with successful projects, it is still difficult for them to understand such varied and varied customer expectations.


Consumer views on health have changed many times and continue to change. Food today is associated with a broader spectrum of health benefits and health effects. However, there is no consensus of opinion, because buyers have different beliefs and different habits, which depend on many variables, including age, income level and many others.

Food as medicine

Today, as medical services are becoming more expensive and consumers are increasingly concerned about maintaining health, they often choose food based on their health benefits. According to research by FMI and Rodale, approximately two-thirds of consumers consider food to be “body medicine”. According to the International Food Information Council (IFIC), cardiovascular health is at the top of the list of desirable nutritional benefits, followed by weight loss / control, recuperation, brain function, and digestive health.

According to the FMI report on The Power of Produce, roughly two-thirds of Americans are convinced that agricultural products are an essential component of a balanced diet (see Figure 1).

Every generation has a different approach

To understand how consumers define health and a healthy lifestyle today, it is important to know what trends are characteristic of different generations. For example, the post-war generation is often taken for comparison, the so-called.

Post-war generations are more likely to pay attention to calorie / nutritional information, according to IFIC: 51% versus 36% among millennials
They also check expiration dates, ingredients and brand names more often.
At the same time, non-traditional characteristics play an important role for the younger generation, for example, how the product affects the environment, and the humane treatment of animals during its production.

Eating at home as a health concern

Consumers are confident that home-cooked food is healthier. According to the FMI’s Power of Family Meals report, 88% of US adults believe they eat healthier at home than out of the home, confirming that when we cook ourselves , we have more control over our food, from ingredients to food safety.

Consumers also believe that it is important to eat at home with their families, and this can be a component of their perception of a healthy lifestyle. For example, 84% of shoppers with children rated the importance of eating at home with their families as “highest or very high”.

FMI’s National Family Meals Month ™ is designed to ensure that people find additional opportunities each week to have their breakfast, lunch or dinner at home with their families. This campaign is held every year in September and involves both retailers and suppliers, as well as members of the public.

Key messages from the initiative are communicated to consumers through in-store campaigns, social media, traditional media and community events at the local level.

The importance of food security

While the definition of health is changing with new shades of meaning, traditional food safety issues remain important in the eyes of consumers. The main concern is the risk of contamination by bacteria or germs, residues of substances such as pesticides and herbicides, and counterfeit goods. Slightly fewer shoppers are concerned about handling food in supermarkets and about the consumption of expired items.

However, according to the FMI Trends survey, the vast majority, 88% (and the proportion of such consumers has only increased slightly over the past 2 years), are confident in the safety of the food that is sold in their grocery store. …

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