Following a year of unprecedented growth, in 2021 retail sales of naturally healthy (NH) packaged food recorded a slight decline because of the easing of lockdown restrictions. Especially after the second quarter of the year, when foodservice venues were gradually allowed to reopen and out-of-home mobility increased, at-home eating occasions sharply dropped, reducing the demand for naturally healthy staple goods such as bread, pasta and rice through retailers.
The pandemic strongly accelerated the demand for products with inherent nutrients that support immune health. Honey is among the categories which has gained particular popularity for its high nutritional value and immunity support characteristics.
The lockdown restrictions of early 2021 did not benefit snacks, sales of which heavily rely on impulse purchases and on-the-go consumption. Home seclusion boosted the demand for snacks that are satisfying and indulgent, with consumers temporarily deprioritising health considerations.
Sales of NH packaged food are set to continue rising over the forecast period, as consumers are becoming more health-conscious. Especially after COVID-19 brought to the fore the link between nutrition and health, the demand for products with natural properties will accelerate.
Naturally healthy snacking products are also set to contribute to growth in NH packaged food in the forecast period. The home seclusion observed in 2020 was already moderating in 2021, as consumers had more opportunities to leave their home for professional or leisure purposes.
Naturally healthy staple foods, which benefited the most during lockdown restrictions, are expected to record slower growth in the forecast period, given the stockpiling effect of 2020 and 2021, as well as the switch in demand from retail to foodservice. Nevertheless, such products will still record positive performances, as they are perceived as simpler, less processed and as offering more nutritional value.
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Naturally Healthy Packaged Food
This category includes products on the basis of naturally containing a substance that improves health and wellbeing beyond the product’s pure calorific value. These products are usually a healthier alternative within a certain sector/subsector. High fibre food (wholegrain/wholemeal/brown), soy products, sour milk drinks, nuts, seeds and trail mixes, honey, fruit and nut bars and olive oil are considered NH foods and 100% fruit/vegetable juice, superfruit juice, natural mineral water, spring water, RTD green tea etc. are considerd NH beverages. While many of these products are marketed on a health basis, this might not always be the case. Naturally healthy food and beverages that are additionally fortified fall into the 'fortified/functional' category. 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 Naturally Healthy Packaged Food research and analysis database.
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