In 2020 and early 2021, sales of BFY packaged food particularly benefited from the lockdown restrictions and the increase in eating occasions at home. However, from the second quarter of 2021 onwards, the lockdown restrictions were gradually lifted, and consumers started spending more time outside of the home, leading to a reduction in demand for packaged food through the retail channel, which in turn impacted BFY packaged food categories.
Within BFY reduced salt packaged food, reduced salt sauces, dressings and condiments saw the highest current value growth in 2021. Despite the reopening of the foodservice channel, eating occasions at home remained elevated compared with the pre-pandemic period and consumers continuously sought convenience when preparing their own meals at home.
Although the home seclusion period of early 2021 boosted the demand for indulgence, increased awareness of the contribution of sugar consumption to obesity, and consequently on general and immune health, accelerated the demand for sweet products that are, at the same time, low in sugar. This helped the demand for reduced sugar spreads remain elevated, especially during breakfast occasions, and attracted more innovation in the category.
In 2020, the British government announced a new regulation on the promotion of high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) food products, effective from October 2022. According to this, retailers of more than 185 sq m will be prohibited from implementing volume-based promotions for any HFSS products.
The HFSS regulation is expected to accelerate innovation in products with reduced sugar content, although consumers will not be willing to compromise on taste. Two opposing trends are expected to influence category performances: the indulgence trend, with consumers looking for small treats to pamper themselves, and the health and wellness trend, with consumers showing an increasing preference for healthier options.
In light of increasing awareness of the negative effects of sugar consumption on child obesity, more and more parents are expected to become increasingly concerned about the quantity of sugar their children consume. This concern will be intensified by public campaigns which aim to improve children’s diet, including Public Health England (PHE), which plans to reduce the calories in product categories that contribute significantly to children’s calorie intake (up to the age of 18) by 20% by 2024.
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Better For You Packaged Food
Products where the amount of a substance considered to be less healthy (eg fat, sugar, salt, carbohydrates) has been actively reduced during production. To qualify for inclusion in this category, the “less healthy” element of the foodstuff needs to have been actively removed or substituted during the processing. This should also form a key part of the positioning/marketing of the product. Products which are naturally fat/sugar/carbohydrate -free are not included as nothing out of the ordinary has been done during their production to make them “better for you”. “No added sugar” claims are excluded too. Products most likely to be included here will be those which are low-fat/low-sugar versions of standard products (eg reduced fat mayonnaise, reduced fat cheese, reduced fat milk, reduced sugar confectionery, etc). For product category definitions please refer to the definitions section (can be found under the "Help" section on Passport) for the respective system: Packaged Food, Hot Drinks, Soft Drinks.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Better For You Packaged Food research and analysis database.
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