Research conducted for the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) suggests that the global downturn has not created a ‘health crunch’ on new product innovation in the sector.
The findings are contained in a new FDF report, ‘Recipe for Change’, which documents how food and drink manufacturers are developing new products, together with refreshing ‘old favourites’ with reduced salt, fat, and calorie content.
Tracking all new product launches in the UK grocery market, independent consultancy firm Mintel’s Global New Products Database discovered that nearly 250 reformulated products were launched in the first six months of the year – similar to the same period in 2008.
David Jago, director of insight and innovation, Mintel GNPD, 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.”
Mintel’s research also finds that the total sales for healthier option products in key food and drink categories are now worth ₤8bn, and, promisingly, are growing at twice the rate of the market as a whole.
“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,” said Melanie Leech, FDF director general.