The Versatile American Food Consumer Healthy Traits

Mar 05, 2016 10:41 PM EST | By Rhea Penaflor (


Your Typical Healthy American Food Consumer:

1.  Avoids Microwavable Foods.

Over the past 10 years, consumption of fresh foods grew 20% to more than 100 billion "eatings" per year. The NPD Group (2014a) projects fresh eatings will exceed 120 billion per year by 2018. 

2.  Eats Small, Frequent Meals/Snacking.

Health is an important snack selection factor for half (50%) of adults (Technomic 2014b). Refrigerated juices/drinks, smoothies, yogurt, nutrition bars, trail mixes, specialty nut butters, and popcorn were among the fastest-growing healthy snacks in 2013 (Wyatt 2014).

Nearly half of consumers (45%) look for snacks that go beyond basic nutrition (Wyatt 2014). One in five buy snacks for an energy boost or to improve their mood; 17% do so to manage weight (Nielsen 2015).

Chocolate-covered pretzels, dried meat snacks, frozen and refrigerated handheld entrees, and frozen appetizer/snack rolls drove growth for indulgent snacks (Wyatt 2014). Chocolate, fresh fruit, chips, bread/sandwich (outside a meal), cheese, ice cream, vegetables, and cereal are the snacks Americans would choose above all others (Nielsen 2015).

3.  Goes Natural and Organic.

More than a third (39%) of consumers purchased organic/natural meat or poultry within the past three months, and 63% say they would be very interested in a "produced in the USA" claim for meat/poultry (FMI 2015).

In 2014, 40% of adults were trying to avoid GMOs. Although 52% felt they understood GMOs, only 43% were aware of the GMO certification seal (Hartman 2013e). More consumers are opting to buy certified organic foods and beverages in order to avoid GMOs (Hartman 2014).

But the natural market mix is likely to change. Natural food claims on new products have fallen 11% between 2007 and 2013, likely due to class action lawsuits and lack of a regulatory definition (Datamonitor 2014).

4.  Eating Whole Food

Fiber/whole grains were the most sought after food ingredients in 2014 (IFIC 2014). In 2013, 37% of shoppers switched to a healthier bread; 24% opted for healthier pasta; and 22%, healthier crackers (FMI 2014b).  Whole foods are the best for improving health and preventing disease.

5.  Proper Diet and Exercise

This the easiest to say or remember but probably the most difficult to do with the sedentary lifestyle that most Americans have on their daily lives.  According to National Center for Health Statistics, proper diet and exercise are the mainstays for a healthy lifestyle, although many Americans turn to costly fad diets and exercise programs that fail to provide weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. The basic tenets to gradual weight loss and good health include developing healthy eating habits and increasing daily physical activity.

Are You Healthy Enough to Be a Versatile Consumer?

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