Price often takes preference over health in grocery aisles

Posted by Isobel Drake on 18th June 2009

Price remains a barrier to many looking to choose healthier food options, according to a new report from the US.

Almost half (46 per cent) of those surveyed said they were reluctant to spend more on healthier versions of food, the United Soybean Board’s (USB) 2009 Consumer Attitudes about Nutrition survey revealed. Of those not prepared to spend more 52 per cent confirm the reason is financial.

The study discovered 87 per cent of consumers express concern about the nutritional content of the food they eat, a number that reflects strong interest in healthier foods. Consumers are consequently forced to juggle nutrition and economic value, with 88 per cent still considering nutrition important when purchasing foods at the grocery store.

Highlighting a preparedness of some to pay more for healthy goods, the functional foods market in the US has been growing. According to Packaged Facts’ Functional Foods and Beverages study, US retail sales for functional foods totaled US$31 billion in 2008, an increase from $26.9 billion in 2006.