Changing US food attitudes
3 long term trends stand out from the 15th annual Food and Health Survey by the International Food Information Council, involving interviews with 1,011 Americans aged 18-80 during April 2020.
- Growing emphasis on healthfulness.
- Increasing tendency towards specific diets.
- Greater concern about environmental sustainability.
Over the past decade, the strongest influences on food purchasing have been relatively stable:
Compared with 10 years ago, the importance of some aspects has risen substantially.
- 58% said their overall health.
- 53% said their weight.
85% reported changes in behaviour as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with 60% cooking at home more, 32% snacking more and 30% washing fresh produce more, but a later survey in May found some safety measures already falling away.
The most popular specific diets, among the 43% adopting them in the past year, were intermittent fasting by 10%, clean eating by 9%, ketogenic or high fat by 8% and low carb by 7%. The top motivations were losing weight, feeling better with more energy, improving physical appearance and protecting long term health.
Plant-based growth was evident from 24% consuming dairy alternatives and 17% meat alternatives. As many as 43% would assume that a plant-based product is healthier than its traditional equivalent.
74% of Americans want to avoid or limit sugars, down from 80% in 2019. 60% are drinking water in place of caloric beverages.