While inflation is the leading cause of food-shopping stress, 55% of consumers surveyed by Deloitte Insights indicated they are willing to pay a premium for food that contributes to their health and wellness.
Given their focus on price, shoppers’ preference for sustainable, locally grown and non-GMO food is down roughly 12 percentage points from 2019, according to Deloitte’s latest annual fresh food report.
It’s based on a July survey of 2,054 U.S. adults ages 18-70 who influence purchases of fresh food in their household.
Deloitte defines fresh food as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, delicatessen, prepared foods and baked goods that are perishable and not frozen or canned.
Fresh food typically accounts for up to 40% percent of grocery chains’ revenues.
With inflation top of mind, price is the top consideration when shopping—chosen by 92% of survey respondents—and 53% said the leading cause of shopping stress is concern over rising prices.
Nonetheless, 84% of consumers consider the health and wellness benefits of fresh food.
Deloitte also looked at “food as medicine” when it comes to fresh edibles.
“Food as medicine focuses on the various benefits of healthy eating, including boosting mental or physical performance, and offering preventive or therapeutic benefits,” Deloitte Consulting LLP principal Daniel Edsall tells Marketing Daily.
Three-quarters of survey respondents agreed that “Eating the right food can be the best medicine” while 70% concurred with the statement “The right foods can boost my mental or physical performance, expanding my potential.”
The survey also noted an “information gap” represented by 62% of consumers citing conflicting information and confusion about the healthfulness of certain foods.
“A little over half of consumers say it is essential to get data about food origins, safety, and nutritional properties to confidently use food as medicine,” notes Deloitte. “But when a connection is made, good things can happen.”
The firm cites as examples the Guiding Stars labeling and signage program used by the Hannaford, Giant, Food Lion and Stop & Shop and Kroger’s OptUp nutrition-scoring system.