Human Health & Nutrition
What is it and why does it matter?
Providing people with access to a diet that has an appropriate balance of energy and nutrients to ensure good health. Avoiding ‘undernutrition’ i.e. deficient in energy and nutrients, or poor nutrition, i.e. high in sugar, fat, or artificial additives/preservatives.
This is just as important for the agenda setters as it is for the customer and consumers. While consumers may not see it as directly related to sustainability, for agenda setters it is central to a sustainable food system. Make sure if talking to agenda setters and business leaders, sustainable nutrition is an element of your sustainability discussion. And for consumers, it remains a core purchase driver, especially since Covid-19 has increased the connection between immunity and food. Particularly a focus for sectors with more processed foods, like prepared consumer foods, where there may be policy pressure to reduce salt and sugar in coming years.
Of trade buyers globally say “providing solutions which are good for human health and nutrition” is important when choosing a supplier
Of consumers say eating more healthily will become more important in the next 3 years
Sugar and Salt Tax
A recent report by the government commissioned National Food Strategy in the UK has urged ministers to adopt a £3/kg tax and £6/kg on sugar and salt respectively that is sold wholesale for use in food processing, restaurants and catering
The conversation on food and human health is shifting from a focus on quantity and availability, towards nutritional value. Conversations are moving towards ‘Nutrient richness’ or ‘Nutrient Density’. For consumers/ buyers the fundamental focus is on reducing (e.g., sugar, salt…) as well as the positive nutritional benefits
“Sustainable nutrition is becoming a lens through which people are viewing what needs to shift in the food system"
For buyers, this is a vital topic. However, it may be a table stake for some buyers, meaning more difficulty to stand out. That said, being able to communicate clearly the benefit a product offers in terms of nutrient-density can be impactful. There is certainly recognition of the move towards more nutrient-rich sources for a more diversified offering.
It has considerably greater importance in Eastern markets as a component of sustainability, while Western consumers are less likely to link it to sustainability. It is worth noting the focus on health is the biggest area of claimed behaviour change in the past 12 months with 52% globally making a big effort to eat healthier. So, health per se is crucial, even if not connected to sustainability in much of the world.
Given the inclination of shoppers (especially in Asia) to scrutinise health credentials, this is a potential benefit area of sustainability that can be leveraged if your product is more nutritious because of how it's made, or it is “closer to natural” which is a calling card for sustainability and superior health credentials. Being able to link human and planetary health in communication will produce greater impact.
With an aim to satisfy nutritional requirements, we try to diversify procurement from varied sources of food, reducing the high-volume intake of few crops to a greater diversity of nutrient-rich food sources
Review the headline insights from the Global Food Sustainability Outlook research.Review the Insights & Implications