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Food Avoiders Driving Increased Introduction of “Free From” Products

Today food avoidance has become a way of life for tens of millions of American consumers of all ages and is increasingly impacting the product trajectory of the U.S. food and beverage industry.

 
PRLog - March 17, 2014 - ROCKVILLE, Md. -- There is a growing trend among American consumers, as well as in global markets, towards the avoidance of a host of specific food ingredients and components.  Though shunning specific foods or ingredients is not a new phenomenon, today food avoidance has become a way of life for tens of millions of American consumers of all ages and is increasingly impacting the product trajectory of the U.S. food and beverage industry, according to Food Formulation Trends: Ingredients Consumers Avoid, a report by market research publisher Packaged Facts.

For some consumers, avoiding certain foods and ingredients is a matter of life and death due to allergies and sensitivities or specific health problems, such as celiac disease, diabetes, or lactose intolerance. However,” free from” food products are increasing in popularity among consumers without any specific mandatory medical motives or religious dietary restrictions. In the absence of a specific health condition the decision to opt for “free from” products — fat-free, sugar-free, salt-free, gluten-free, and so on — can be viewed as a lifestyle choice by consumers who increasingly place a high priority on healthy living.  Packaged Facts’ research reveals that the rate of U.S. consumers who claim they are watching their diet remained at an average of 52% between 2006 and 2013, compared to only 28% of Americans in 2004.

“Consumers avoid certain foods or food ingredients for preventive health reasons that may be for their own personal health, the health of their children, and, among pregnant women, as a factor in prenatal health,” says Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle. “This is not about dealing with specific allergies but rather a matter of optimizing health and also about seeking to create a quality of life based on eliminating negatives, with the point being not to make oneself sick.”

Food manufacturers, recognizing the opportunity to appeal to concerned consumers who also tend to be trendsetters for other consumers, are extremely accommodating to this shift toward food avoidances, reformulating products to eliminate those ingredients that are being shunned. Of course, food manufacturers have been reformulating their products for decades, especially products in which the fat, sugar, or salt contents needed to be reduced or eliminated in order to appeal to more health-conscious consumers. But there remains an opportunity for major food and beverage companies to become more active in producing “free from” products.

Recently we’ve seen major companies such as General Mills increasingly becoming involved in providing products that appeal to food avoiders, but specialty marketers still lead the way in producing “free-from” foods and beverages. Retailers are also increasingly engaged in providing private label versions of “free-from” products for food avoiders.

For more information on Food Formulation Trends: Ingredients Consumers Avoid, please visit www.MarketResearch.com or http://www.packagedfacts.com/Food-Formulation-Trends-8024....

About Packaged Facts – Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, consumer packaged goods, and pet products and services.  Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.

Please visit Packaged Facts on LinkedIn for more culinary, food packaging, food retailing and foodservice insights.  Follow us also on Twitter (https://twitter.com/packaged_facts), and Google+.

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Daniel Granderson
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Source:Packaged Facts
Location:Rockville - Maryland - United States
Industry:Food, Health
Tags:Health, food and beverage, food allergies, retail, food trends
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