Consumers want more healthful and nutritious products. That's the message frequently heard in the media today. But, a recent study conducted by the American Dietetics Association (ADA) on consumers' attitudes toward nutrition and health, doesn't have me convinced that people are ready to change their eating habits.
The ADA surveyed 783 people; about two-thirds of which were female, and with an even distribution among age groups ranging from 18 to 65 years of age. More than half of the participants had at least some college education. Data was segmented into three categories based on participants' responses-those who already believe diet and health are important and act accordingly; those who know better, but don't act on their beliefs; and those who don't want to be bothered.
Although the data reveals more people are actively taking an interest in diet and nutrition, nearly 40 percent of the respondents do not do all they can to eat a healthful diet. In fact, 79 percent of respondents indicated they are satisfied with the foods they eat and don't want to give up the foods they like. So, although consumers are interested in eating more healthful foods, it may be difficult to entice them with nutritionally enhanced products if they don't taste as good as the foods they're accustomed to eating.
Obviously, there is a market for more healthful products. Research suggests that baked products, in particular, are used as a vehicle for functional and healthful ingredients. And, the message regarding the healthful benefits of certain ingredients is reaching consumers, as nearly 100 percent of respondents indicated whole grains are more healthful than foods made from white flour. The study also suggests consumers have increased consumption of low-fat foods, those containing berries and products with less sugar and sodium.
Many new opportunities for development of healthful and nutritious baked products exists, but the ADA study implies many consumers are satisfied with the products they currently eat and don't want to give them up. I imagine those who don't want to give up the foods they enjoy are the ones most likely to indulge in decadent individual-size desserts and pastries, such as those made by Galaxy Desserts, our operations feature this month.
What is clearly evident from Galaxy's tremendous growth is that consumers want to indulge, but are perhaps doing so in smaller portions.