Sales in healthy-eating boosted by continuing consumer demand

August 20, 2017

The trend towards healthy-eating has begun to pick-up pace as consumers embrace clean-eating alternatives. Retailers are now recognising this changing consumer preference, demonstrated by the increasing availability of healthy-eating products such as coconut, spinach and wholegrain options on menus.

UK sandwich chain Pret A Manger identified this trend and adapted their menu to include healthy changes. The results have provided them with a 15% increase in sales to £776m, and its measure of profit now reaching £93m.

Pret announced that coconut milk was its “most popular” new ingredient, stating that sales now exceed soya milk. Pret also revealed that their porridge made with coconut milk was proving extremely popular with their customers, and already accounts for 20% of its porridge sales.

An increase in consumer demand for healthy-eating is also evident within supermarket sales. Kantar Worldpanel’s research found healthy-eating options were the fastest-selling last year, with items including flatbread (up 196%), avocado (up 33%), halloumi (up 29%) and spinach (up 26%).

Results from Pret's healthier menu options, as well as a growth in sales of products such as spinach and avocados reflect the change in consumer preference, towards healthier eating habits. Additionally, UK supermarket Waitrose identified that grains are “hugely popular” within their salads and bread lines, demonstrating that consumers are also eating more vegetarian-style food, but not necessarily going full vegetarian, shown by the growth in sales of halloumi and wholegrains.

The trend is also shown within the milk market, where dairy alternative almond milk saw sales of £62m, up 32% on previous year, while worldwide sales of non-dairy milk alternatives more than doubled between 2009 and 2015 to $21bn. Waitrose adds; "Coconut oil, water and milk have now become part of many customers' regular weekly shopping baskets".

The surge in the healthy-eating trend has possibly been inspired by lifestyle gurus, instagramers and bloggers who encourage people toward a healthier choices such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and to consume lots of water; a trend that is backed-up by nutritional value. As quick-fix fad diets are slowly being replaced by long-term, dedicated healthy-eating choices, it is vital that all retailers embrace this change. To follow the consumer demand, is to embrace a healthy, profitable future.