Insights for Retailers - Archive

Why retailers need to be tech-savvy

New research has revealed the impact innovative technology will have on where British consumers shop.

The research among 2,000 British consumers, published by Hitachi Consulting, exposes the attitudes to technology of different generations and incomes – identifying millennials as the group retailers can target to boost sales and grow market share.

Over two-thirds (69%) of respondents aged 24-35 claimed they would be more likely to shop with a retailer that was enhancing the shopping experience with innovative technology. This generation has also proved over the last 10 years that it is the most likely to change its shopping habits, with almost three-quarters (72%) stating their routine differs to a decade ago.

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Olive oil sales squeezed

Poor harvest conditions continue to provide a challenging backdrop to the olive oil market, according to the latest analysis of value and volume sales across Europe, including the UK.

Data analysts IRI says Europe is showing an average sales volume decline of -4.3% with Spain and Germany showing the biggest drop.

An increase in value sales of 6% year-on-year is explained by higher material costs and price inflation across the region.

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Consumers warm to healthy snacks

Health is currently driving innovation in the snacking category with 40% of UK shoppers happy to pay a premium for healthy or functional snacks, according to Nielsen.

The analyst’s report ‘Welcome to the Snacking Revolution’ says 41% of UK consumers seek out snacks with less sugar, 39% look for low fat, 41% want snacks for energy and refuelling, 43% are careful about the portion size and 40% expect to pay a health premium.

“The snacking category is currently worth over £18 billion, and growing at 0.3% in value. It’s an enormous category and an integral part of the store that drives basket spend,” says Joanna Parman of Nielsen FMCG and Retail.

Sugar tax hasn't changed habit of a lifetime

The UK sugar tax has had minimal impact on consumer behaviour since its implementation in April this year, according to Nielsen which says 62% of UK shoppers claim to have not changed their consumption behaviour in any way. Only one-fifth are checking sugar content on packages more frequently since the tax came into effect.

Prior to the tax being rolled out, the majority of the UK supported the government-imposed levy, and some even felt it wasn’t strict enough – 54% of respondents supported the tax, and since its implementation, 69% said it should be expanded to confectionery and biscuits.

Whatever next?

Highlighted by foodnavigator.com recently were several innovations that could give adventurous health stores even more of a quirky edge. Hand crafted Sea Chips salmon skin crisps, currently in Whole Foods and Harrods, caught the eye – the skin is often discarded yet is packed with nutrients. And Tyrell’s has come up with pink crisps combining the good old spud with raspberry and prosecco. Cheers.

Innovation is driving healthier crisps and snacks – Mintel report

The buzz around the health credentials of pulses looks to have made its mark on consumers, with half of savoury snack eaters deeming snacks made with pulses healthier than potato-based ones. This gives scope for manufacturers to explore healthier formulations of snacks, according to Mintel in its report ‘Crisps, Savoury Snacks and Nuts’.

Savoury snacks high in protein would appeal to 28% of UK consumers, says the report. High-protein claims have traditionally been seen in meat snacks, but have in recent years seen wider adoption by roasted beans and peas as well as nuts and seeds. Given the high interest, this is an area with scope for more NPD by suppliers.

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Consumers want healthier ready meals, more plant-based options

Brits love the convenience of ready meals but more of us are demanding healthier alternatives to meat. That’s the finding of a survey by Eating Better, an alliance of UK organisations with health, environment and resources perspectives.

UK spending on ready meals topped £4.7bn in 2017, making the UK the biggest ready meal market in Europe. Nine out of 10 of us eat ready meals or ready-to-cook products (Mintel).

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PARENTING: Reducing risk of childhood obesity by 75%

A study based on 40,000 individuals looked at the association between a mother’s lifestyle and the risk of obesity among their children aged between nine and 18.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, reported in the BMJ in July, found that mothers who maintain five healthy habits – eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy body weight, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking – may reduce their children’s risk of becoming obese by 75%.

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PARENTING: Desperate parents need better snacks for toddlers

Stand-up comedian and writer Sam Avery is partnering with baby and toddler food brand Organix to find out what’s hiding in some baby finger foods and toddler snacks. As a parent he’s standing up for his children and saying no to junk.

Research by Opinium for Organix, conducted among 1,000 UK parents of children aged 0-3 years, revealed that 76% were shocked to discover that some baby and toddler snacks contain up to 30 separate ingredients.

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PARENTING: School holidays means 5x more sugar!

British parents will let their children consume up to FIVE TIMES as much sugar during the summer holidays as they would any other time, according to research. A worrying poll of 1,000 parents with children aged two to 17 found sugar intake will be hugely boosted during the break from school.

Unsurprisingly, ice creams and sugary drinks were named as the biggest culprits, with just one in 10 parents reporting their child eats more vegetable sticks over summer. A quarter of parents say their child eats far more sweets over the summer holidays than they ordinarily would.

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Emerging cosmetics industry trends – comment by NATRUE

Changing trends in the cosmetic industry impact the natural and organic cosmetic sector. These include areas such as clean beauty, conscious and ethical consumerism including vegan formulations, sustainability of raw materials and their sourcing and packaging.

Exclusively for Better Retailing Magazine, Cecile Zumbiehl of certification marque NATRUE, observes:

“An aspect that links these trends is a crucial change in consumer behaviour: they are always looking for new ‘green’ alternatives. The principle product categories for natural and organic cosmetics continue to be leave-on products such as face and body creams, lip balms, colour cosmetics such as lipsticks, and rinse-off products like shampoos and shower gels. In terms of claims driving new trends, anti-pollution has recently become one to look out for.

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Beauty and wellbeing findings by the Soil Association

Increased awareness of global issues through online media and exposés has resulted in consumer mistrust. Consumers are putting pressure on many different industries to conduct business responsibly. These are key findings in the Soil Association 2018 Beauty & Wellbeing report.

Accessibility of information, such as Netflix documentaries on health and global issues, has led to heightened awareness of these issues which is changing attitudes.

Initiatives such as the Sustainable Cotton Communique pledge by 35 brands to achieve sustainable cotton by 2025, are on the rise as consumers demand better business practise. Brand transparency continues to perform with prominence in labelling and supply chains.

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How to spot the sleep-deprived

Talking to imaginary pets, crying because the supermarket sold out of yoghurt and getting in the shower fully clothed are among some of the strangest things people have done when sleep deprived, according to a new poll carried out by BetterYou.

The survey of 358 people from across the UK found that poor quality of sleep was a common problem with over half (53%) claiming they struggled to nod off.

The search for a good night’s sleep is perhaps contributing to the amount of people self-medicating with nearly one in five admitting to turning to sleeping pills or alcohol.

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New figures on fibre intake and bowel function for women

Harvard Medical School recently reported that women who include plenty of fibre in their diet are a fifth less likely to develop bowel control problems as they age. Women eating more fibre were 18% less likely to have faecal incontinence (inability to control bowel movements) and a third (31%) less likely to have diarrhoea.

The research team investigated the effects of long-term fibre intake among 58,000 women taking part in the renowned Nurses’ Health Study. Those taking part were divided into five groups based on their daily fibre intakes. Those with the highest fibre intakes – 25g daily – had a faecal incontinence risk that was 18% lower than those with the lowest fibre intakes.

Fibre intakes in the UK are concerningly low. Latest data shows that women aged 19 to 64 years are getting just 17.4g daily. This is sufficiently lower than dietary guidelines which recently increased to 30g daily, indicating a large fibre gap.

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Consumers still struggling with ‘Clean’ label

Stephanie Mattucci, a global food science analyst at Mintel, has grappled with consumer attitudes to the burgeoning trend of ‘clean label’. Clean-related terms such as ‘clean eating’ or ‘clean label’ do not have formal definitions, she says.

It’s generally accepted that clean eating refers to eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods, and avoiding artificial ingredients and highly processed foods. Or in some cases, following diets such as vegan, dairy-free or gluten-free. This aligns with what consumers already consider healthy: natural, freshly made, organic, and preservative-free.

The concept of clean label has been used by the food industry for many years, but clean-related terms have now emerged as part of consumers’ vocabulary as a new way to say ‘healthy’, especially in the US.

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Kantar sees the fresh produce trend

A Kantar Worldpanel report says that, despite global FMCG growth remaining slow in 2017, retailers and manufacturers that adapt to meet macro-economic changes and shopper needs can still find ways to grow.

“Around the globe, consumers are becoming more health conscious,” says the report called ‘Winning Omnichannel: Finding Growth in Reinvented Retail’.

With people living longer and having more information at their fingertips, there has been heightened demand for FMCG products that promote healthy living or deliver added health benefits.

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Plan now for Organic September

Organic September encourages people to eat, drink, use and choose organic every September. 2018 is set to be the biggest yet, de-mystifying organic and showing consumers how easy organic food is to introduce to their daily lives.

The main thing to note is that it is completely FREE to join in and all businesses taking part will be given a “toolkit” of materials, both print and digital, to help support their Organic September activity, whether or not they are certified by the Soil Association.

For independents, there’s a free visual merchandising guide to help get the organic message across in the run-up, including a new point-of-sale toolkit, available in June, to help highlight organic products with clear messages for shoppers.

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Celebrate the success of Wake Up To Organic 2018!

Over 280 independent stores, cafes and farm shops across the country served up over 14,000 free organic mini breakfasts on Wednesday 13 June in the biggest ever annual event to help shoppers make the switch to organic at the start of the day.

With more stores taking part than ever before and every region of the UK covered, the UK woke up to celebrate organic with their local independents who served up lots of tasty treats, showcased local producers and shared what makes them happy about growing, making and selling organic food and drink.

The campaign was supported by a host of organic brands providing samples for stores to use on the day to create lots of tasty treats and many Organic Trade Board members running their own Wake Up events in the office or getting out and about to visit stores and get involved in the action.

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Anticipated growth in organic personal care

The global organic personal care market size is expected to reach $25.1 billion by 2025, exhibiting a 9.5% compound annual growth rate during the forecast period (Grand View Research Inc).

Growing demand for organic and natural hair care, skincare, and cosmetic products is expected to expand market growth over the projected period, including a rise in demand for vegan products.

Demand for environmentally sustainable products and celebrity promotion of veganism will drive this trend, coupled with changing consumer perception toward organic products and animal welfare. Not to mention demand for chemical-free skin and hair care products.

The researchers also note that enhanced skin tone is another contributing factor as organic beauty products are made to provide skin with a better treatment, by using natural-based ingredients and fragrances that do not cause any harm to skin and body.

How bad is the British diet?

New research by PharmacyOutlet.co.uk has examined how often Britons indulge in poor eating habits. The online pharmacist commissioned an independent survey among more than 2,000 UK adults and discovered:

     
  • 38% of people eat a ready meal at least once a week. Men (45%) were far more likely than women (33%) to do this.

  • 27% eat fast food on a weekly basis. The figure jumps to 46% among millennials (18-34 year olds).

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Sports nutrition protein bars lead growth

Sports protein products accounted for 72% of total UK sports nutrition value sales in 2017, with powder being the dominant format (source: Euromonitor). Hectic consumer lifestyles are generating demand for convenient on-the-go formats within sports nutrition, including bars and ready-to-drink products.

These categories were the fastest-growing in the UK sports nutrition market in 2017, with sales rising by 16% and 14%, respectively, in current value terms.

Collagen conundrum

Animal-sourced collagen in so-called beauty food is bucking the current growth trend of plant-based alternatives, says analytics company GlobalData.

The company’s 2017 consumer survey revealed that 57% of consumers worldwide said that collagen is effective in beauty/grooming products, while 45% preferred food as a format for beauty/grooming.

Is worker health the answer to the ‘productivity puzzle’?

While GDP has recovered since the 2008/9 Recession, productivity has more or less flat-lined. This is one of the highlights in a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) asking if the economy has recovered 10 years on.

Having shrunk by more than 6% between the first quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2009, the UK economy took five years to get back to the size it was before the crisis. The latest data show that the UK economy is now 11% bigger than it was before the Recession, says the report.

A shrinking economy meant many lost their jobs and employers stopped hiring. By the end of 2011, the quarterly unemployment rate reached 8.4%, the highest since 1995.

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Healthier products are consumers’ priority

European consumers want healthy, nutritious food and they are willing to pay more for it. That’s the headline finding of a trends report by ingredients company Ingredion.

But the same consumers are unhappy with the standard of healthy food and drink available, and are challenging the industry to formulate and manufacture better quality, more nutritious products that also deliver taste and freshness.

The food and drinks industry still needs to earn consumer trust. Not only do they want more information on what their food and drinks contain, but consumers are using technology to closely scrutinise products prior to making buying decisions.

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Shoppers question what’s natural

Shoppers are becoming suspicious of seeing the word ‘natural’ on product labels, according to a report by Dutch food colouring specialist GNT. The manufacturer says 45% of consumers are suspicious when they see claims of naturalness on product labels.

A research company commissioned by GNT asked more than 5,000 consumers about natural claims on labels and discovered that consumers pay closer attention than ever to what they eat and drink every day. Checking for unwanted ingredients has become routine.

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Food flavours for balance and harmony

Market intelligence agency Mintel has identified major flavour trends that will influence the products on health store shelves.

Middle Eastern cuisine has become an inspiration for fusion flavours, while ‘less sweet’ desserts featuring ingredients such as olive oil and vinegar are gaining popularity in the US, and functional ingredients are adding colour and flavour to food and drinks in western markets.

Meanwhile, Mintel predicts spice blends, sauces and condiments will introduce diners to emerging international cuisines, while new spin on seasonings and preparation methods will bring meaty flavours to both meat and vegetables alike.

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Delay in coeliac disease diagnosis risks neurological damage

Coeliac UK, the largest independent charity for people who need to live gluten-free, says that delayed diagnosis of coeliac disease is creating a growing health problem across the UK with undiagnosed patients at risk of suffering with complications of the disease including irreversible neurological damage.

In its 50th anniversary year, the charity is urging health professionals and the general public to take coeliac disease seriously. During its Awareness Week activities (14 - 20 May 2018) Coeliac UK was highlighting the symptoms and emerging evidence relating to previously unknown complications of the autoimmune disease.

Chief executive Sarah Sleet says that even though awareness of coeliac disease has grown, there still exists a perception that the disease is not that serious because it requires a gluten-free diet as its medical treatment.

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Serious about plastics waste

A group of 60 manufacturers, retailers and trade associations aims to withdraw single-use plastic packaging by 2025 through better design, and make 100% of plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable.

But a firm that specialises in making pallets from recycled plastic warns that consumers need to be assured that their recycling is beneficial.

If plastic is recycled as single-use packaging it merely runs a second risk of going to landfill or into the oceans, whereas re-use as a long-term product negates this risk.

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Digestive health tops the nutraceutical agenda

The importance of a healthy gut has risen to the top of the nutraceutical industry’s agenda for the first time, a new survey shows.

Speaking ahead of Vitafoods Europe (May 15-17, Palexpo, Geneva), experts have attributed the findings to growing consumer awareness of the importance of healthy gut microbiota and the potential of probiotics.

The organisers of Vitafoods asked 220 nutraceutical industry professionals to choose the three most important health benefit areas for their companies. Nearly a quarter (23%) named digestive health, with the same number identifying general wellbeing and healthy ageing. Another 22% named cardiovascular health, while 21% said immunity was a key area.

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Food companies ‘need to create a protein buzz’

Insects are a healthy and highly nutritious food source with high protein, fibre, vitamin and mineral content, but too few consumers are aware of the benefits.

That’s the conclusion of Globaldata’s Consumer Associate Analyst Matthew Perry, who points out that cricket flour has twice as much protein as beef, and twice as much iron as spinach.

But 38% of consumers surveyed by Glabaldata are unaware of the ingredient. Perry says insects are also greener and more sustainable alternatives to traditional animal protein sources such as beef, pork and poultry given that they emit fewer greenhouse gasses and require less water and feed to produce.

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What’s the true cost of crime?

Reported retail crime in the UK stands at £700m. It’s estimated that this costs 1.2% of turnover on average. Add to that 160,000 incidents of violence or abuse against staff and we’d all agree that something has to be done.

A company called Facewatch was at the National Association of Health Stores’ informative lunchtime event at Natural & Organic Products Europe in April to offer a solution.

The Met’s deputy assistant commissioner Mark Simmons has said that his officers won’t bother with looking into crime where the value of damage or item stolen is under £50. Will the police attend a shoplifting report? Probably not, said Nottinghamshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping.

Facewatch chairman Simon Gordon explained his system of real time alerts using facial recognition technology which issues alerts either to a shop or a collective of co-operating high street businesses.

Whether the cost of such a programme is worth it depends on the problems your store is facing. facewatch.co.uk

Can health stores help with migraine?

Migraines affect a whopping 14% of the population – that’s 6m people and new research shows that you may have part of the solution on your shelves.

More than 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK are more common in women and are the leading cause of disability among all neurological disorders. Twenty-five million work and school days are lost every year. The financial burden on the UK economy is conservatively estimated at around £3.5bn.

And half of sufferers are unhappy with their current treatment.

A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using Bio-Kult probiotics in the intervention group has shown a dramatic reduction in the mean frequency of headaches – in chronic migraine by almost half with no change in the placebo group, and a similar result in episodic migraine.

Asthma study may reveal CBD hope

Recent publicity about the true dangers of asthma has highlighted the heavy burden of the common inflammatory disease in adults and children. The number of asthma cases doubled between 1990 and 2015.

According to Asthma UK, 5.4m people receive treatment for the condition, 1.1m of them children – and the UK has one of the highest rates in Europe.

Cannabis biotech company CIITECH was at Natural & Organic Products Europe in April to promote the collaborative work of Prof. Raphael Mechoulam, discoverer of the endocannabidinoid system, and Prof. Francesca Levi-Schaffer, a global expert in asthma research.

The Hebrew University scientists are working towards identifying a possible inhibitory effect of a derivative of cannabidiol (CBD) on allergic airway inflammation. This is expected to reveal significant advances especially for those who are steroid-resistant.

Keep it simple, say Millennials

Health and wellness Millennials are young adults aged between 18 and 35 who aspire to living a healthy life. But they struggle to achieve this because they face so many daily pressures in an increasingly complex world.

According to a summary of consumer trends research by Nature’s Bounty, presented at Natural & Organic Products Europe 2018, these people are looking for a trusted, credible brand with simple solutions offering effective, easy-to-use products.

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GDPR deadline looms – help for small stores

Many companies are behind schedule to achieve Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance by the looming May 25 deadline. Around 40% of companies only expect to achieve compliance with the regulation after the deadline.

That’s the finding of a major survey sponsored by international law firm McDermott Will & Emery and carried out by the Ponemon Institute.

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12% of Brits follow meat-free diet – The Grocer

Research carried out for The Grocer magazine indicates that 12% of the UK population follows a meat-free diet. Young people continue to drive the trend, according to the Harris Interactive research among 2,000 consumers.

The figures show that 7.8m people have given up meat, with 3.9m identifying as vegetarian, a three-fold rise since 2012. Interestingly, 25% of those surveyed said they were thinking of giving up meat in the next year.

Animal welfare concerns and the ethics of the meat industry were cited as key factors, as well as dietary considerations.

The full report is available here (subscription required).

The majority of US consumers prefer the term 'plant-based' to 'vegan', according to a US-wide survey by food development specialist Mattson. Many consumers see veganism as associated with animal rights and environmental activism, while they see 'plant-based' as a positive dietary option.

Visitors form a queue to meet Dr Rangan Chatterjee on the Viridian stand at Natural & Organic Products Europe.

How health stores and the NHS can work together

Viridian is spearheading a drive to link the work of UK health food stores with NHS services.

Following the recent Jack Noah Memorial Lecture at the Health Food Institute by Dr Rupy Aujla and the visit of TV personality Dr Rangan Chatterjee to Natural & Organic Products Europe, Viridian MD Cheryl Thallon is calling for a joint mission to promote “lifestyle medicine”.

“I envisage a training event where Drs Chatterjee and Aujla pool their expertise and create a set of approved protocols that health food stores can sign up to, giving all GPs the confidence to send their patients for a dose of lifestyle medicine for 90 days, prior to a further visit to the GP to reassess,” says Thallon.

She will reveal full details in an article in the Summer issue of Better Retailing Magazine.

Meanwhile, you can view her interview with Dr Chatterjee and Patrick Holford here.

It’s getting healthier, say analysts

More people are buying vegetarian, free-from and organic food as the healthy eating trend gathers pace.

That’s the view of big data and technology expert IRI which has surveyed European shoppers.

People are paying more attention to their health as the healthy eating trend gathers pace, according to IRI. More than two thirds (72%) of shoppers in the UK are buying healthy food – with less salt, sugar, fat or calories.

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View from the High Street – how owners see their future

A poll of 300 high street independents reveals that almost half expect good times ahead. The survey by Liberis, which provides alternatives to business credit cards, has revealed 46% of SME owners with a physical location view their future on the high street as “booming”.

Health and beauty retailers were among the top three sectors that plan to add online shopping to their bricks and mortar stores, the other two being restaurants and fashion outlets.

Read the full story here...

UK to see growing demand for natural and local beauty products

Sales of certified organic and natural beauty products in the UK reached £75.9m last year, according to the Soil Association Organic Market Report 2018. And a second report by a major analytics firm says 50% of beauty shoppers want the ingredients to be natural.

The Soil Association report reveals an increase of 24% and the seventh year of consecutive growth for the UK certified organic and natural cosmetics market.

And according to Mintel’s Beauty & Personal Care Trends Report 2018, half of UK consumers who buy beauty products are looking for natural ingredients.

Read the full story here...

Independents shine in organic success

Encouraging figures emerge from the Soil Association 2018 Organic Market Report, which shows UK independent retailers leading the way in new sales. Year-on-year growth of +9.7% saw independent retailers organic sales reach £359.3m in 2017 compared with 2016. That’s 16.3% of the market compared with supermarkets at 67%.

Only food service businesses did better with +10.2% growth for last year, with home delivery on +9.5% and supermarkets +4.2%.

The biggest surge came in the chilled and deli sector with +21.3% followed by beers, wines and spirits at +8.2%. Frozen was up 6.7% and fresh produce 6.5%.

However, bakery declined -10.3% and babyfood and drink -2.3%.

Read the full story here...

Plastic packaging – small steps in a big problem

Consumers awakening to the problem of plastic packaging, especially its effect on our oceans, is an issue brands are going to have to grapple with. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.

Shocking forecasts like that ought to inspire the packaging industry to go beyond token gestures – Mintel’s Packaging Trends Report 2018 applauds companies such as Ecover which uses plastic recycled from the sea, “but it won’t solve the problem”.

“Using plastic recovered from the sea to create new packaging has been used by ‘eco’ brands such as US-based method and Belgium-based Ecover to draw attention to the issue,” says the report.

Read the full story here...

Europe’s probiotic sales held back

Europe’s fixation with its anti-probiotic health claim stance has held back this obvious opportunity for UK health stores. While probiotic sales have rocketed in the USA by a staggering 138%, the European Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR) has caused uncertainty with its refusal to allow health claims applications.

Statistics research company Euromonitor believes this has cost the European probiotics sector more than €1bn in sales between 2009 (when NHCR was introduced) and 2017.

Peter Nählstedt, Europe President of the International Probiotic Association, is quoted by William Reed’s nutraingredients.com as saying: “The overly stringent scientific requirements for probiotics and the de facto prohibition to use the term ‘probiotic’ resulting from the NHCR interpretation by the European Commission is depriving the EU of innovation and investment in research in a promising sector that is growing everywhere outside Europe.”

Meanwhile, global research continues to show the benefits of probiotics for everything from digestive health to mental wellbeing and weight loss.

Plant-based yoghurt will trend this year

Dairy-free yoghurt, especially beyond soy, is the next disruptor in the plant-based boom, according to The Yogurt Market and Yogurt Innovation, 3rd Edition by Packagedfacts.com (US market data).

“To an even greater degree than Greek yogurt in its pure, plain incarnation, dairy-free yogurt chips away at the premise that yogurt is at heart a good-for-you product category,” says the report.

“Non-dairy yogurt takes probiotics and high protein, both hot nutritional trends, and transfers these trump cards to the plant-based product trend’s bag of tricks.”

Just as in the UK, Packagedfacts notes that younger and trendier Americans are switching lanes from “leaning more vegetarian” to “leaning more veganish” and thereby cutting back on or foregoing dairy.

Use of the term “yoghurt alternatives”, now becoming mainstream, will complicate any dairy industry efforts to ban the use of “yoghurt” for dairy-free products in the way it has tried to enforce regulatory restrictions against the use of “milk” for plant-based milk alternatives such as almond, coconut or cashew.

More on the Packaged Facts report on yoghurt.

One in 12 parents are raising their children vegan

Eight percent of UK parents are bringing up their children as vegans, new research shows. Half of these parents confessed that their children had expressed a desire to eat meat or animal products before, with the majority stating that ‘health benefits’ associated with the vegan diet was the driving force behind their decision.

The team behind VoucherCodesPro.co.uk carried out the study for Veganuary following an increase in the number of searches on-site for discounts relating to vegan and vegetarian products.

According to the study of 2,177 parents of children aged 0-12 in the UK, 13% of parents have vegetarian children with the majority of these being raised vegetarian, rather than eating a meat-free diet through personal choice.

Read the full story here...

Stress factors – it’s a youth problem

A whopping 85% of Brits suffer from anxiety or stress at least sometimes, with three in 10 (29%) suffering at least three times a week and 15% every day. But it is the young who are experiencing the highest levels of anxiety and stress – 25% of 16-24-year-olds feel anxious or stressed every day.

Meanwhile, it seems that age brings an element of calmness, as just 9% of over-55s say they feel anxious and stressed on a daily basis and a quarter (25%) experience no stress whatsoever.

These are the findings in Mintel’s stress report with Richard Caines, the company’s Senior Food & Drink Analyst, noting: “High incidence of anxiety and stress and not finding enough time to relax suggest untapped space for brands to promote ways of relaxing. These can include products such as mindfulness apps, teas, bath and shower products, as well as adult colouring books.”

Some of these apply to independent health food retailing though colouring books might remain peripheral.

The report adds: “Just over half (51%) of the population describe their general health as somewhat or very healthy for a person of their age, while just 15% of Brits believe that they are somewhat or very unhealthy for their age. Getting enough sleep (69%), eating a healthy diet (68%) and regularly exercising (65%) are ranked as the top three habits for staying healthy.”

Mintel's Managing Healthy Lifestyles UK 2017 report is available to purchase priced £2195.

Genetic testing to help women lose weight?

Almost 60% of UK women who have tried to diet say they are yet to find a successful way to manage their weight, despite over a third admitting to having tried four or more different diets. Research by LloydsPharmacy discovered that over a third say it doesn’t matter what they do they can’t lose weight, while one in three say that diets may work initially but they put the weight back on.

And one in seven say that every diet they have ever tried has failed.

The research revealed that diet failures are leaving a quarter of British women feeling like they have no control over their weight, while a further 20% say they are at the end of their tether.

LloydsPharmacy Pharmacist Anshu Bhimbat commented: “In their attempts to lose weight many are often following fad diets and 59% have admitted to giving up a particular food group without consulting a dietitian.

“It can often be hard to know what approach is best as it can vary so much between individuals. Decoding our genes aims to demystify that by helping people understand how their genetics impacts their weight, therefore allowing them to make choices based on their individual body type.”

Genetic testing for weight management is a relatively new concept which until now hasn’t been as widely available or as affordable. LloydsPharmacy’s ‘myDNA’ uses a simple cheek swab to analyses genes known to influence body size and weight, our ability to maintain and lose weight, the way the body stores and processes dietary fats and the risk of elevated triglycerides and cholesterol levels. This helps to tailor a personalised diet plan.

See LloydsPharmacy.com for more.

Healthy means natural says GlobalData

Today’s wellness revolution is developing rapidly and positioning products as ‘healthy’ is no longer enough for discerning customers. In order to effectively resonate with consumers through health claims, firmly identifying what this term actually means to them will be essential, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.

According to GlobalData’s primary consumer research, when asked what consumers believed healthy to mean, the factor which most resonated with consumers globally was ‘natural’, highlighting the popularity of unprocessed whole ingredients as a route to better health and the continued impact this claim has among a global audience.

Jamie Mills, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “This is further strengthened by ‘fresh/raw’ which also ranked within the top five claims resonating with consumers. Positive claims such as these fit in with consumer desire to achieve optimum health through their lifestyle and are particularly evident as balanced nutrition was ranked the second most ‘healthful’ claim.”

Read the full story here...

Some old wives’ tales and (possibly) some smart remedies

Is turmeric a cure for baldness?

Does sleeping in socks filled with onions shake off a cold?

Well there have been some bizarre health remedies down the years but we are grateful to an online pharmacy website for clearing up a few old wives’ tales.

PharmacyOutlet.co.uk surveyed more than 2,000 UK adults to reveal the common, obscure and downright strange health remedies people put their faith in:

  • 56% of UK adults – 29 million people – have gargled salty water to get rid of a sore throat, and 68% of those believe it works (it might!).

  • The other most common health tricks people rely on are: sweating out a cold (47%); having a nightcap to help them sleep (44%); and “hair of the dog” (36%).

  • A third of people (32% or 16.6 million) admit to eating carrots to improve their eyesight, but just 25% of those actually think it helps.

  • Some of the more bizarre health remedies people try include: applying butter to burnt skin (19%); sleeping in socks filled with onions to shake off a cold (8%); and rubbing turmeric on their scalp to combat baldness (7% of men).

See the research results and the pharmacy’s opinions in this table and send your opinions – and your obscure remedy ideas – on Facebook or Twitter.