Britain has undergone many food revolutions over the last generation; olive oil has moved from pharmacist’s shelf to store-cupboard staple; A boom in gin is seen, and an even bigger one in veganism. Shoppers are more concerned with the quality, safety and healthiness of the food that they buy, have an intolerance to certain foods or just want to lose weight. With obesity becoming a key challenge for health in the UK, it is encouraging to see that one in four shoppers (25%) want to achieve weight loss. People say they are happy to spend more buying organic food, more than any other healthy food option.
Younger consumers are more likely to snack regularly and exercise regularly. So it’s no surprise that this fitness-conscious group is particularly keen on the concept of healthy snacking.
A fifth of 18 to 24-year-olds always try to have a healthy option when they snack, and 38% aim for a healthy option most of the time. By contrast, only 11% of the 55+ age group said they always aimed for a healthy option, and 32% did so most of the time.
Healthy snacking is one of the most innovative areas of grocery. Suppliers are continually experimenting with ingredients such as pulses, nuts and oats to find the perfect healthy snack.
Globally we're all eating more and more processed foods and that's a concern because our supermarkets shelves are full of products that are high in bad fats, sugar and salt and are potentially making us sick.
Results show that some countries are doing a much better job than others. Unfortunately it's the poorer nations that are least able to address the adverse health consequences that have the unhealthiest foods.
- China's drinks were some of the healthiest in the survey with an average Health Star Rating of 2.9 but packaged foods scored low at just 2.39.
- South Africa on the other hand scored low with its drinks at an average 1.92 Health Star Rating whilst its foods came in at 2.87.
- Canada topped the list for unhealthy salt levels in foods and drinks with an average of 291 mg/100g of sodium, with the US coming in 2nd at 279mg/100g.
- The UK scored best for sugar at just 3.8 grams per 100 g with Canada second best at 4.6 grams per 100 g.
- China's packaged foods and beverages had the most harmful levels of saturated fat. They also scored worst for average sugar levels at 8.5 grams per 100 g (more than 2x the UK's average) -- with India in 2nd place at 7.3 grams per 100 g.
- India's packaged foods and drinks were most energy dense (kilojoule content 1515 kJ/100 g) and South African products were least energy dense at an average of just 1044kJ/100 g.
It turned out that British food isn't that terrible, after all. A global survey has found that when it comes to having the healthiest packaged foods and drinks, the UK tops the charts, with the USA in 2nd place and Australia coming in at 3rd.