Maintaining health and wellness is a perennial concern among consumers, and one that has grown in prominence in recent years. According to a McKinsey & Co. survey of consumers in six countries, including the United States, “Seventy-nine percent of the respondents said they believe that wellness is important, and 42% consider it a top priority.” Further, consumers “reported a substantial increase in the prioritization of wellness over the past two to three years.” Achieving personal goals in this area involves paying heed to numerous factors, including better nutrition.
As consumers seek to improve their diets in the pursuit of wellness, they are paying more attention to plant-based foods and their health benefits. In the United States, the plant-based foods market was up 6.2% in 2021 and is expected to move higher. Although plant-based options often come at a premium compared with conventional alternatives, a survey by Deloitte found that 55% of consumers are “willing to pay a premium for food that contributes to their health and wellness,” even with economic uncertainties ahead.
The spotlight on health and wellness should shine brighter with the start of a new year and the annual introspection that feeds resolutions. For some, adopting more plant-based foods in their diets is likely to be high on this year’s list, while others will embrace full veganism for “Veganuary” — an initiative to avoid all animal products for the month of January. To get consumers off to a good start, grocers have an opportunity to feature plant-based foods with nutritive benefits and contribute to discussions that educate shoppers about their choices.