Global shift in the eating habits
Food manufacturers and retails get a tremendous opportunity to lead the healthy eating habits of their consumers. Moreover, consumers are ready to perform the nutrition shift towards sustainable, organic, and healthy foods. This article investigates how obesity problem changes worldwide nutrition habits.
Nielsen Global Health and Wellness report shows that half of global respondents believe that they are overweight and half are trying to lose their weight. Consumers become more aware of what do they eat. People seek for fresh products, which are natural, organic and minimally processed. Global youngers are most willing to purchase premium goods for health attributes. As far as it goes, they are learning from mistakes of the previous generation and ready to change their habits towards healthier nutrition. The fact that respondents claim that they are ready to pay more for the quality of the product presents the shift in the eating habits.
The sustainability trend we witness in retail and manufacturing spreads on the food industry as well. The responsible production is valued by customers. Food manufacturers should put the needs of the consumers in the first place, thinking about the end user. People are curious and read the labels. Everything from the quality of farming lands and animal maintenance influence on the choice they make. The nutrition of the product and absence of genetically modified organisms add value to the food. The choice algorithm does not end on the consumption itself. Further, it is important how the package can be and will be recycled. The last one results in the zero-waste lifestyle.
As a result, we see the rise of farming markets popularity as well as farmers spots in the grocery store. Moreover, driven by sustainability and environmentally friendly responsibility, the cold chain logistics reinvents itself towards feasible development. Marketing the joy of the product consumption is not enough anymore. Food producers have to show their intentions to make the world better and present the proof of local attempts to improve the quality of human being on the global level.
According to OECD, 18% of world population are obese. Horrifying numbers show that one in three adults in the United States, Mexico, and New Zealand suffer from being overweight. How did that happen? Let's see what those nations eat. National geographic's Nature of Food series has presented the interactive maps "What the World Eats" using the FAOSTAT data. According to statistics, grain products take up to 46% of daily diet worldwide. Produce, dairy&eggs, and meat occupies each about 10% of the daily whole foods when Sugar and Fats take one-fifth of the diet proportion worldwide. However, if to look closer to each country, the difference in the diet is stepping out. The undoubtful leader in share of sugar and fat nutrition is the USA with 37% of the daily diet. On the contrary, Chinese, Vietnamese, and North Koreans proportion of the same products is as less as 10%. The nutrition habits are strictly correlated with the obesity levels in the countries. As it can be seen in the presented data, both sugar consumption and obesity rates in the United States are going off-scale while same parameters in China are are the lowest worldwide.
Pizza is not
If to take the micro level, researches show that most of "modern" diseases appear in the urban areas. No doubt, stress, anxiety, and lifestyle, contribute to the state of health. However, the nutrition in the rural and urban areas are drastically different. The closer you get to the city, more processed, takeaway, and ready-meals food people consume. And it does not go unnoticed by the citizens themselves. The problem becomes evident and the only solution for the urban population is the nutrition education.
In Asia, already in the elementary school pupils are taught about the nutrition they have to get from vegetables and how to balance their diet. Governmentally driven programmes have the clear impact on the improvement of population's health. Dietary, hygienic and exercise habits that affect nutritional status are formed during the school-age years. Already in the elementary school, Chinese and Japanese students learn the importance of the well-balanced nutrition and regular exercise on their future state of health.
The USA is an example of the country, where the nutrition education has failed. The videos of some classes reveal that food learning consists of how to prepare fries and other processed foods. Moreover, pizza margarita served in the school canteens is listed as a vegetable. Most of the food products contain a high percentage of fats and sugars. Therefore, the healthy nutrition, in particular with the lack of education on the subject, takes a lot of effort, which most people have no time to invest. In the busy and fast lifestyle, it is difficult to investigate the label of every product you purchase. It is believed that with more effort of the food manufacture the shift of the eating habits will be more accelerated and valued by consumers.
Obesity levels have brought the global attention to the nutrition problem. The trend of responsible food consumption will continue to grow, which should not go unnoticed by food producers. The whole ecosystem of food production is under the piercing gaze of the customers. It is not an obstacle for food manufacturers and retail but the opportunity for rapid sustainable development.