Consumers all around the world pay closer attention to what they eat and how they choose their food products. This becomes apparent in the supermarket setting: 64 percent of Americans take a critical look at the product before placing it in their shopping cart, evaluating both the front and back of the package. These are some of the findings of a recent consumer study which has been commissioned by the GNT Group, leading global provider of fruit and vegetable juices for color. For the study, the market research institute TNS interviewed more than 5,000 consumers from ten countries in Asia, America, and Europe on their shopping and eating habits.
The study concludes that natural ingredients play a significant role in the way consumers purchase food and beverages. In order to make a substantiated purchasing decision, however, shoppers depend on easy to understand product information: for 67 percent of all consumers worldwide, clarity of ingredients and additives determine their choice of food and drinks. They look for short ingredient lists whose components they know and understand. In the U.S., 65 percent of the respondents look for recognizable, clean label ingredients within the food product.
How consumers make a purchase decision
When looking at a label, consumers do not evaluate every component of a product individually, but rather they use a method of elimination whereby they scan the label for certain ingredients that they personally avoid. If they discover them among the contents, the product is put back onto the shelves.
In the course of this process, consumers pay special attention to coloring ingredients. For nearly two thirds (60 percent) of consumers worldwide, the absence of artificial colorants is of major importance to their purchasing decision. Additionally, the presence of a front of pack icon stating the product is “colored with fruits and vegetables” resulted in an increased willingness to pay more for that product.
“The study’s results clearly show that natural ingredients are becoming more important all around the globe. Many manufacturers already comply with consumers’ wishes, for example, by using color solutions exclusively made from fruit and vegetable sources and clearly indicating that on the label. This development will continue to gather momentum in the upcoming years”, says Dr. Hendrik Hoeck, Managing Director of the GNT Group.
Even with today’s busy lifestyle where convenience is important, only 25% of consumers want to finish their shopping as soon as possible. 63%, however, take their time and view shopping as an experience: browsing the aisles in order to find food products that fit their needs, both from a nutritional and ‘feel-good’ perspective.
“The increasing consumer demand for a healthy and balanced diet also manifests itself in shopping behavior. Consumers no longer choose their products inconsiderately, but rather look out for new and better alternatives. This offers potential for food and beverage manufacturers who can meet the demand for healthy and natural products”, says Dr. Hendrik Hoeck.
Further information on the study is available at www.gnt-group.com