Labels might well be regarded as a way to up sales in the booming nutrition industry, but a latest study reveals that Americans still remain skeptical about these claims. Ironically, this distrust doesn’t stop them from shelling out more money to buy products in the belief that they are eating healthy. The Nielsen study, released on 20 January, 2015, states that consumers show distrust in assertions that involve the use of terms such as ‘heart healthy’ which are not easily verifiable.
About 30,000 people from about 60 countries participated in the online poll. From these figures, it emerged that about 56% respondents from North America stated that they did not trust the claims made by nutritional products. Market watchers said that the trend of nutritional food is just about building up into something big, and these revelations show that this significant degree of distrust will create an interesting scenario in the backdrop of more and more people wanting to consume healthier food.
In the same study, it emerged that about 43% respondents said gave great importance to GMO-free food and natural ingredients. Similar sentiments were observed about food items without artificial flavors and colors.
The report also noted that in many cases, manufacturers are entirely eliminating or bringing down the amount of ingredients such as saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar, sodium, and transfer in food. In place of these ingredients, a number of manufacturers are using ingredients such as protein and fiber in foodstuff. An official from Nielsen said that there remains scope for more action on this front from manufacturers because there is an escalating demand for food products with labels that state ‘organic’ and ‘natural’. While sales for ‘organic’ products have increased by 28% between 2012 and 2014, the same for ‘natural’ food products have gone up by 24% in the same duration.
About 33% respondents added they would pay more money for organic products. On the other hand, older respondents said that they were not heavily influenced by health factors when making a purchasing decision.