Consumer Trends in Health and Nutrition: Seeking Natural Ingredients for Children’s Nutrition

As consumers around the world are putting more emphasis on what they are consuming in order to maintain their health, parents are looking to incorporate these healthy habits in their children’s diets and lifestyles as well.

67% of global parents want to improve their child’s eating habits. Parents in emerging or developing markets are putting a lot of importance on improving children’s eating habits with 58% of them stating that they plan all their child’s meals in advance.

Meal prep and creating interesting lunches for school and for work has been rising in popularity over the last few years, with convenience, time saving and healthy eating driving this behaviour. Brands and companies that encourage these kinds of behaviours by providing simple recipes along with their products are likely to resonate with these consumers.

Attitudes towards Child’s Eating Habits

Percentage of Global Respondents by Market Development

Source: Euromonitor International’s 2019 Health and Nutrition Survey

In emerging or developing markets there may be a fear of food safety and ingredients. There have been many scares in this space over the last few years and parents might be more cautious about what they are feeding their children.

Brands and companies that have easy to understand and clear labelling around ingredients lists, nutritional information, how and where the products are produced, are likely to be successful in this space.

Many parents in emerging and developing markets also seem to feel that imported, international and brand-name children’s products are important to their status as parents. Being able to afford such luxuries and high-quality products for their children might be an important factor in parents’ personal images or social standing.

This could potentially be a great space for name-brand, international, and high-quality products as parents in emerging and developing markets are likely to pay more for these features.

Top Three Ingredient Preferences for Children’s Food and Drink

Percentage of Global Respondents by Market Development

Developed Market Emerging or Developing Market
35% – Free from preservatives 51% – Is all natural
33% – Has limited or no added sugar 48% – Free from preservatives
32% – Is all natural 40% – Good for heart health

Source: Euromonitor International’s 2019 Health and Nutrition Survey

Around the world, parents are looking for products that are “free from preservatives” and “natural” to feed their children. This further emphasises the growing trend that parents are being more considerate about what they are feeding their children and moving away from processed food and artificial ingredients.

In developed markets, parents are also worried about health implications of sugar and are seeking products that have “limited or no added sugar”. As child obesity and sedentary lifestyles remain a concern for parents, brands and companies that clearly emphasise low sugar features along with importance on active lifestyles are likely to be successful with parents in developed markets.

Barriers to Health Eating

Percentage of Global Respondents by Market Development

Source: Euromonitor International’s 2019 Health and Nutrition Survey

Children continue to remain picky eaters and often do not like the taste of healthy food. Parents looking to feed their children healthy alternatives to their usual favourites may be willing to try new products and brands in order to appease their children. Therefore, brands and companies that provide healthy alternatives such as products that focus on natural ingredients, high vegetable and fruit counts as well as high fibre, vitamins and nutrients, are likely to win over new customers. If these products are convenient to use and competitively priced alongside being healthy, they are even more likely to resonate with parents around the world.

About Euromonitor’s Consumer Trends In Health and Nutrition blog series:

Healthy living and behaviours towards health are consistently changing. As new trends emerge and information about various ailments and illnesses is shared via more channels than ever before, it is important for companies and brands to understand consumer perceptions and habits when it comes to their health.

Working closely with in-house industry experts and analysts, alongside key players within the industry Euromonitor International’s Survey team conducted an online survey in February 2019. With over 20,000 respondents across 20 core markets around the world, the survey´s results provide consumer insight into every day and long-term health behaviours and attitudes in area´s such as packaged food, consumer health and sports nutrition.

For additional insights from our 2019 Health and Nutrition Survey, read the first article in the series Vitamins and Supplements Driving Beauty Innovation or download Euromonitor International’s Top Consumer Trends Impacting Health and Nutrition white paper.