Though dieting has been the oft-repeated New Years resolution for consumers looking to slim down, new research from The NPD Group reveals that many are opting to live an overall healthier lifestyle as opposed to restricting their habits through a diet.
Dieting in the U.S. has been declining over the last decade, according to NPD, with only about 22 percent of consumers who say they are currently on a diet.
To consumers, health is now more about the purity of the foods they eat versus the absence of negatives, such as fats, or even the presence of positives. The bigger picture is that consumers are seeking items which have had minimal processing, and are focused on avoiding “unnatural” elements, like artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, additives, and GMOs.
Overall, consumers are also eating more fresh foods, and NPD forecasts that this trend will increase over the next several years.
“This may not come as the best news for the dieting industry but consumers are looking for authenticity and simplicity as part of a healthy lifestyle, which, to them, has more ‘staying power’ than diets or fads,” said NPD analyst Darren Seifer. “To ensure future growth, food marketers will need to make sure to promote the fresh or natural elements of products to reflect consumer need for authenticity.”
Consumers' lack interest in traditional diets and calorie counting doesn’t mean consumers are not interested in losing weight – most adults would still like to -- but their approach to doing is more often exercise and healthful eating. In fact, more than half of Americans under the age of 65 say they are exercising strenuously at least once a week; however, exercise rates are highest among those under 45.