Consumers Showing Heightened Interest in Fresh, Healthful Options: NPD

Consumers are showing reinvigorated interested in fresh, more healthful options, based upon the appliances, cookware, utensils and food ingredients they have on hand in their kitchens.

According to The NPD Group's latest Kitchen Audit survey, shoppers are stocking their pantries with more almond milk, Greek yogurt, quinoa and sea salt than they were in 2011, revealing growth in the focus shoppers place on nutrition.

Additionally, consumption of fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish and eggs grew by 20 percent to more than 100 billion eatings between 2003 and 2013, and NPD forecasts that all three meal occasions will get even fresher over the next five years, particularly driven by younger generations.

“The fact that U.S. consumers are stocking items that are perceived fresher or healthier speaks to the bigger picture needs of consumers today,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst.  “Not that people are stopping the consumption of other items that historically have been on hand in kitchens, but what people are grabbing for more readily seems to be toward the fresh side with more healthful benefits.”

Greek yogurt, for example, which maintains a strong source of protein, rose from a market penetration of 9 percent in 2011 to 29 percent in 2014.

Likewise, Quinoa, a popular "super food," increased its presence in U.S. kitchens by 8 percent since 2011 and is now a staple in 13 percent of households, based on NPD's audit.

And both Sea Salt and Almond milk, healthier alternatives to their popular counterparts, have each seen a 6 percent increase in household penetration in that four-year period.

Now in its 8th edition, the 2014 Kitchen Audit study is based on reporting by a nationally representative sample of approximately 2700 U.S. households.

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