Clean living: How have consumers changed…

Clean living: How have consumers changed their diet?

Clean eating: how to capitalise on Britain’s healthy eating habits

We’ve all seen it. Most of us have tasted it, too. With vegan cafes on the high street and ‘free from’ products crowding the shelves of your local supermarket, the clean-eating trend is now well and truly mainstream.

As Hitwise’s new Clean Living report shows, online searches for “nutrition” rose a full 20% from 2014 to 2016. And according to the Soil Association, organic food sales in the UK are now worth close to a whopping £2bn.

As the healthy eating sector continues to grow, health-conscious consumers are getting savvier about what they want – and what they don’t need. So to capitalise on this growth industry, it’s important for brands to understand what makes these consumers tick.

Diet fads vs healthy eating trends

Most diet fads have a shorter shelf life than a bag of kale, with searches for “detox” and “paleo” diets down 9% and 22% respectively from 2015-2016.

Paleo2

Contrastingly, there has been a steady rise in the number of people searching for whole and real food diets. Over 3 years, “vegan” searches have risen by 221%, “gluten-free” searches by 69% and “dairy-free” by 91%.

Diet2

Today’s clean-eating consumer isn’t interested in the short term gain of fad and crash diets. Instead, this healthy-eating revolution is all about long-term improvement in consumers’ eating habits.

Superfood to the rescue

Superfood

One particular trend that shows no sign of abating is the rise of the superfood. Searches for avocado are up 103% over the past 3 years, with searches for chia seeds up 68% and almond milk up 88% over the same period.

How brands can capitalise on the healthy eating boom

Brands that align themselves with these stable food trends see long-term success.

As our report shows, supermarkets such as Tesco, with its “free from” and Healthy Living ranges are experiencing over 200% growth in health food searches from 2015-2016 and selling over 200m ”free from” products annually.

Other brands, however, are struggling to capitalise on this growth industry. To learn more about what is driving consumers’ changing eating habits and how brands can build a rewarding dialogue with consumers, read our full Clean Living report here.