Research carried out on behalf of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) suggests Britain’s growing penchant for healthier foods has not been quelled by the credit crunch, with manufacturers serving to demand.
Independent consultancy Mintel found that since January 2007 more product lines have been launched in Britain with reformulated, healthier recipes than in any other European country. In addition, the healthy food consumer market is now worth around £8bn, with some healthy eating options growing at twice the rate of the market as a whole.
Mintel tracks all new grocery product launches in the UK through its Global New Products Database. It found 250 products were reformulated to include lower salt, fat and calorie levels in the first six months of 2009.
David Jago is director of insight and innovation at Mintel. He said: “The amount of work still being undertaken suggests there is no immediate sign of a ‘health crunch’ here in the UK judging by the number of newly reformulated products appearing on supermarket shelves.
“Even if things slow down in the second half of the year, it is clear from our global research that UK manufacturers and retailers are still leading the way on reformulation.”
Melanie Leech, FDF director general, added: “The recession is clearly forcing companies to reprioritise their investment decisions, and Government does need to be realistic about the pace at which our members can be expected to keep delivering new innovations in such competitive market conditions.
“Nevertheless, our report clearly shows that our members remain totally committed to helping consumers eat more healthily – and reformulation is just one of the ways in which we will continue to make a real difference.”
Click here to read a PDF of the Recipe for change report detailing these findings.