Sales figures show healthy foods on the up

Overweight Irish people increasingly opting for healthy foods such as brown rice, porridge, oats, nuts and seeds, according to new Nielsen data

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20 April 2015 | 0

Around 62% of Irish people regard themselves as overweight and sales of healthier foods have grown significantly over the past two years, according to new data from Nielsen.

Polling more than 30,000 people across the globe and combining this with grocery sales data, the Nielsen Global Health and Wellness Survey has revealed that 54% of Irish people are trying to lose weight. This is the third highest result out of all the countries surveyed.

A huge 75% of Irish people are trying to achieve this goal by cutting down on chocolate and sugary items. What’s more, 40% of Irish consumers noted they were changing their diet to eat less processed food, compared to the rest of Europe, where only 29% made these claims.

The Irish Independent reports the results also show Irish people are more likely to follow a weight-loss programme, with one in 10 people following a Weight Watchers regime or another slimming programme. However Irish consumers were likewise revealed to be less open to opting for a ‘quick fix’ such as diet pills or shakes.

Nielsen’s sales figures from Irish supermarkets and convenience stores also reinforced the consumer trend towards healthy options. Sales of brown rice rose by an impressive 39%, compared to white rice sales, which fell by 8%. Porridge and oats sales rose by 4% to €18m whereas sales of standard breakfast cereals dropped by 18%.

Meanwhile sales of dairy spreads have dipped by 11% since 2012, while butter sales have stagnated. The research also showed coconut oil sales rose by a whopping 869% and consumers purchased 14% more rapeseed and sesame oil. Nuts are also a popular choice with 21% of Irish shoppers planning to buy more, while sales of seeds are up by over 80%. Mineral water sales have also performed well, rising by 7%, yet fizzy drinks have dipped by 5%.

Sales of non-diary milk alternatives are also up by 40% since 2012. These products, including soya, almond and rice milk, fit in with the growing free-from trend and are an important option for lactose-intolerant consumers.

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