Is healthy only for the wealthy in 2023?

Date : 27 February 2023

Please find below the latest perspective on health and cost from our commercial colleague Laura Jacobson.

After the indulgence of Christmas, the start of a new year provides a valuable window of opportunity to support changing behaviours.

With 86% of British shoppers aspiring to improve their diet, there are significant societal and commercial incentives at stake.1

While personal definitions of health vary, there’s general consensus that cost is a barrier:

70% of shoppers agree that eating healthily is more expensive than eating unhealthily.1

The flurry of NPD and in-store activation for plant-based, low and no alcohol, and other health trends, even when on promotion, may not be helpful in shifting this price perception. Exciting, convenient solutions with alternative ingredients that add value to the consumer come at a cost.

A recent trial from IGD in collaboration with the University of Leeds, exploring ways to drive long-term behaviour change, showed that basic healthy food like fruit and vegetables respond well to promotional activity in store. While acknowledging that cost is not the only barrier, affordable, healthy staples can offer a relatively simple way to help shoppers build healthy baskets on a budget.

There is lots of evidence to show the role of income in the quality of people's diets, and the cost of living crisis is expected to widen the gap further. As we teeter on the edge of recession, retailers play an important role as champions of value for shoppers; it is vital this does not come at the cost of health.


1 IGD ShopperVista, October 2022