Fresh foods a factor in more healthful convenience snacking

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 28th January 2015
Fresh foods a factor in more healthful convenience snacking
Fresh foods a factor in more healthful convenience snacking

The age-old parental advice to “eat your fruits and vegetables” has taken hold.  From 2003 to 2013, global consumption of fresh foods —  fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs — grew by 20 per cent to over 100 billion eatings, according to findings from market research organisation the NPD Group.

According to the NPD Group, it will be the youngest generations — Generation Z (ages 0-23 years) and Millennials (ages 24-37) — driving the trend. In the next five years, the NPD Group said all three main meal occasions will get even fresher.

Breakfast fresh food will grow most

Breakfast is the main meal at which fresh food eatings is forecast to grow the most, an increase of 9 per cent by 2018, based on the NPD report, which presents five-year forecasts for over 200 food and beverage-related behaviors, attitudes, and characteristics.

Fresh food consumption will grow 7 per cent at lunch and 5 per cent at dinner.  The additional prep and cooking that some fresh foods require was not an issue for Millennial and older Generation Z consumers who said they wanted more involvement in preparing their meals.

Fresh foods will be key to snacking category

The NPD Group said fresh foods, like fruits, will also be a key factor in the growth of ‘ready-to-eat better-for-you’ snacking over the next five years.

Again, it will be the youngest generations driving the growth of better-for-you snacking. The NPD Group said these consumers were looking for values like ‘fresh’ or ‘nutrition’ when it was time to “grab something in a pinch” instead of just grabbing anything for speed.

Convenience will increasingly involve more better-for-you snacks as part of a meal or consumed between meals, according to the NPD Group.

Interest in organic growing

In addition to eating more fresh foods, the NPD Group found that Generation Z and Millennial consumers were also interested in eating more organic foods.

The interest in organics that was poised to take off in 2008 was stymied by the recession, according to the NPD Group. Several trends indicate that interest in organic labels has remained strong among the youngest generations but drops off dramatically after Gen Z and Millennials.

The NPD Group said economic pressures, plus the idea that “it’s too late for me” may be contributing to the reduced interest among older generations.

“Generation Z and Millennials are driving changes in this country’s eating behaviors with their approach to food choice and preparation,” said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst.  “Foods on the store’s perimeter will benefit from this increasing interest in fresh, and manufacturers of center of store items and retailers can take advantage of the ‘fresh’ trend by considering innovative ways to link their products to fresh foods,” he said.