Will ‘healthy’ iconography help consumers select better options?

Kris Sollid, RD, senior director, nutrition communications, IFIC, shared more than half of consumers surveyed in the organization’s 2023 Food & Health Survey​ reported they would buy a product if it was labeled as healthy by FDA, which would be approximately about five percent of packaged foods, but this nominal amount of products may not even be that impactful unless the icon is simple and clear to understand, he explained.

“What we found in our survey is that the majority of people would default to purchasing a product that does carry the healthy icon which might not be surprising. We found in other surveys that consumers are really interested in simple and clear signals to help them make better food choices. So, something like that could help a certain portion of our population on that small percentage of products that would carry such a visual icon,” he elaborated.

Different generations approach health differently, but purchase drivers remain the same

The report also found differences in how each generation approaches health benefits. Older generations are more interested in benefits that promote heart, digestive and bone health, while Gen Z is looks for connections between emotional and mental health with food.

“So thinking about the way that plays out in future years, as we’re younger, we have different priorities. We prioritize things in different ways. As we get older, we get more stuck in our routines, but we’re also more interested in ensuring our long-term health. When we’re younger, we have a little bit more short-term view on that,” he said.

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