Over a quarter of all meals eaten at home in the Britain are consumed for health reasons – with the market worth an estimated £26.5 billion, growing eight per cent year-on-year.
According to the latest report by AHDB, ‘Consumer Focus: Adapting to Consumer Health Needs’, more healthy meals were eaten in March of this year, than in any other month over the last five years.
Analysts at AHDB believe the impact of Covid-19, which led to heightened media attention and governmental focus on health, may have fuelled this recent growth.
However, in May last year – at the beginning of the pandemic – the total amount of calories consumed in-home was 15 per cent above pre-pandemic levels, only falling slightly to ten per cent throughout the second half of 2020.
AHDB Consumer Insight Analyst Rachel Rose, author of the report, said: “During periods of uncertainty and reduced consumer confidence, such as the credit crunch of 2008, Brexit and the pandemic, health often takes a back seat, with many people turning to indulgent and comforting foods.
“However, health is never fully out of mind and throughout the pandemic, we have seen a significant fluctuation in the amount of food eaten for health reasons. In March, it reached the highest level in the last five years.”
AHDB’s new report takes an in-depth look at how the health market has performed over the last year and where red meat and dairy sits in this growing trend, as well as highlighting key opportunities for producers and processors to maximise on the growing trend.
Among its findings is the importance of communicating the health benefits, flavour and versatility of red meat and dairy – providing clear messaging on the vitamins and minerals they contain.
Rachel added: “With health very much under the spotlight it’s important to talk to consumers about the role of a balanced diet and the health benefits red meat and dairy provide. For instance, AHDB is currently running the ‘We Eat Balanced’ marketing campaign which reminds consumers about the positive role both can play in a balanced diet.
“This report provides an in-depth look at the health market to help our levy-payers understand what needs to be done to meet changing consumer demands and needs by providing tasty and healthy food choices whilst clearly communicating the health benefits of both red meat and dairy.”