Foods Considered “Better for You” are Getting a Bad Rap

“Natural” is Seen as a Driving Force in What Americans Eat

Chicago, February 26, 2015 — Americans are cutting back on foods with labels that are considered “better for you” reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company, which just released its 29th annual Eating Patterns in America Report.  The number of products consumed with labels indicating a health benefit, such as reduced fat, low calorie, diet, etc. has dropped to the lowest level in over a decade.
“Today it seems we have entered a new phase of health in the American diet,” says Harry Balzer, senior vice president and The NPD Group’s Chief Food Industry Analyst and author of the firm’s 29th annual Eating Patterns in America Report. “ The first phase, back in the 80s and 90s, was about avoiding harmful substances in our food, such as fat, cholesterol and sodium. The second phase of health, from the mid-90s to just a few years ago, was a move to incorporate more beneficial substances in our diet, such as whole grains, dietary fiber and probiotics. It appears we are in the third phase of the healthy food evolution. This time we appear to be avoiding foods and beverages that have been “made to be better”.

Through the year ending February 2014, Americans consumed 1.9 products with a label that indicated one of 12 attributes. That more than 25% fewer than consumed daily if 2008, when it was 2.6 products per person per day.

Coinciding with the movement away from foods and beverage that have been “made to be better” for us is the increasing concern about genetically altered foods.


“By altering the foods we eat, making them “better” is there now a backlash against those products? Current consumption data suggests that we are entering a new phase in healthy eating. It’s looking like we want more of our foods and beverages to be “natural”.  But natural, like beauty, can be in the eye of beholder. I think we’re looking for foods and beverage to be as they we’re meant to be” says Balzer.

Want to know more about America’s eating habits? Harry is available to comment on what’s behind the numbers and what’s happening on the eating and dieting scene. 
Harry appears regularly on radio and television and in print. 


Related Press Releases

The Flexibility of On-Demand Meal Kits Strikes a Chord with Consumers
The Flexibility of On-Demand Meal Kits Strikes a Chord with Consumers

Although a subscription-based meal kit delivery service doesn’t appeal to a broad segment of the population, the meal kit concept does and with increased availability of the kits at grocery stores, online, and in restaurants, a greater number of consumers are using meal kits, reports The NPD Group.

Aging U.S. Consumers Slow Down Food And Beverage Consumption Making It A Battle for Market Share
Aging U.S. Consumers Slow Down Food And Beverage Consumption Making It A Battle for Market Share

The aging population and corresponding changes in life stage will contribute to the decline in total eating occasions on a per capita basis in the U.S., according to The NPD Group’s recently released Eating Patterns in America.

What’s Life Stage Versus Generational Behavior When It Comes to Dinner Planning? Millennials Are Showing Us The Difference.
What’s Life Stage Versus Generational Behavior When It Comes to Dinner Planning? Millennials Are Showing Us The Difference.

It’s a common oversight not to age generations or recognize how life stage can impact behavior. To understand the difference between generational and life stage behaviors enables food companies and foodservice operators to develop products and marketing messages that are more relevant to their target consumer audiences.

U.S. Consumers Are Increasingly Eating and Preparing Their Meals At Home Often With The Help Of Foodservice
U.S. Consumers Are Increasingly Eating and Preparing Their Meals At Home Often With The Help Of Foodservice

Four out of five meals in the US are prepared at home, more at home meals than a decade ago, says The NPD Group. Consumers do look for shortcuts, close to half of dinners bought from a restaurant are eaten at home and a growing number of in-home meals are a blend of dishes prepared and items bought from a foodservice.


Press Contact

Cristina Hilsenrath 
The NPD Group, Inc.
516-382-4849
Cristina_Hilsenrath@npd.com

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

Want more?

Complete this form to hear from NPD.


Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice.

Follow Us

Privacy Notices.

© The NPD Group, Inc.