Where do consumers turn for nutritional information?

A KPMG survey of 2,000 Brits found food brands have the biggest influence over what people think are healthy.

28 August 2019
image credit: Getty Images

  • 40% of consumers say food brands are their main source of information when determining how healthy products are.
  • When looking at a product for nutritional insight, half of respondents said they use the list of ingredients or the traffic light labelling system to inform their choices.
  • Calorie content are also used by 40% of people when making healthy eating decisions.
  • But 40% told the survey they get most of their knowledge about healthy eating from advertising, packaging and other communication.
  • Meanwhile, 37% decide if a product is healthy based on price, while 28% relied on the general look of the product.
  • Almost a quarter of those surveyed said they used government advice or their friends and family as a source of health information.
  • Despite the perception that people seek out information online, only 13% said they used an app-based nutritionist and 4% pointed to a social media influencer as their source. 
  • Nearly two-thirds of British consumers say they care more about how healthy their food and drinks are compared to five years ago.
  • When it came to the genders, 64% of female consumers said they care more about the health impact of their diet than five years ago, slightly more than their male counterparts with 60% also concerned.
  • Younger generations are also more concerned than older generations. 76% of 18-24 year-olds said they care more, compared to only 59% of those over 55.
  • Regionally, consumers in the North and Midlands appear to care slightly less than the national average (59% and 60% versus a national average of 62%). 


“The increased consumer demand for healthier products clearly presents consumer businesses with an avenue for growth. For many businesses, that has entailed product diversification or refined recipes, especially in light of the sugar levy’s introduction. Indeed, we recently noted healthier consumer goods as a key trend shaping both inorganic and organic growth for these businesses,” said Linda Ellett, UK head of consumer markets at KPMG .

“Having said that, consumer businesses can’t afford to lose sight of how much trust consumers place in brands or a product’s health claims. Brands simply cannot afford to get this wrong. It is vital that consumers are fully informed but equally, not perplexed. A clear distinction needs to be made between products containing a healthy ingredient versus the product that is healthy in its entirety.”

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