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Consumers Offer to Pay More to Satisfy Health Demands
Date:9/4/2007

Health Perceptions of Trans Fats Plummet and Soy Skyrocket in Functional

Foods Boom

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Anyone aware of the expression "put your money where your mouth is" knows that spending choices can illuminate our priorities, as individuals and as a nation. So, food companies, restaurants and home cooks that provide healthy options should take heart: U.S. consumers are willing to increase grocery spending for healthier foods -- a major turning point in shopping behavior. The reasons? Consumers are trying to avoid trans fats, increase intake of the "good fats" or boost consumption of beneficial ingredients like soy protein. Results released today from the 2007 Consumer Attitudes about Nutrition survey -- the 14th annual research study sponsored by the United Soybean Board (USB) -- uncovered these findings.

The study found 60 percent of consumers express a willingness to pay extra for healthier foods, reversing a four-year downward trend and a seven percent rise over 2006 alone. Independent market research by groups, such as Global Industry Analysts, confirms this surge. They report the functional foods market is expected to reach $109 billion by 2010 due to key factors, such as growing income levels, changing lifestyles, increasing health awareness, the trend towards convenience foods and an aging population.

"The fact that consumers say they will dig deeper into their pocketbooks for healthier versions of food represents a significant shift in attitude," said Lisa Kelly, MPH, R.D. "Consumers want nutritious products that are readily available at the grocery store. Fortunately, healthful eating can be quite affordable."

As a prime example of desired food product changes, two-thirds of consumers in the USB study say they would be more likely to purchase a favorite product if it were reformulated with zero grams trans fat and noted on the package, up 10 percent over last year. Half of
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SOURCE United Soybean Board
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