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Healthier products are consumers’ priority

European consumers want healthy, nutritious food and they are willing to pay more for it. That’s the headline finding of a trends report by ingredients company Ingredion.

But the same consumers are unhappy with the standard of healthy food and drink available, and are challenging the industry to formulate and manufacture better quality, more nutritious products that also deliver taste and freshness.

The food and drinks industry still needs to earn consumer trust. Not only do they want more information on what their food and drinks contain, but consumers are using technology to closely scrutinise products prior to making buying decisions.

Sixty per cent of consumers placed a focus on healthier products as their top priority for the food and drink industry, while 48% would pay a premium for a similar but more nutritious product.

But they believe the quality of ‘healthy’ products has fallen – 45% feel that ready meals have deteriorated the most while 71% said an increase in health claims has had a negative impact on the quality of food and drink.

Consumers are challenging food manufacturers to prioritise: 50% want a reduction in undesirable ingredients, 36% want minimally processed products and 37% would like less packaging waste.

The research was carried out in the UK, Germany, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Kenya, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. You can download the Ingredion report here.

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