Tea Among Top Four Natural-Food Purchases

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI), in its 20th Annual Shopping for Health report, ranks tea among the four most often purchased natural-food items.natural-food

The top natural-food purchases are cheese (27 percent), cereal (23 percent), yogurt (23 percent) and tea (20 percent), according to a survey by Harris Interactive Online Poll, which asked 1,471 shoppers about their grocery buying habits.

“Shoppers are exhibiting a broader appreciation of what’s good for them as well as what’s bad for them,” according to the report.

Since 2009, the share of shoppers who say they use new healthy recipes has edged up from 52 percent to 57 percent. Women are more likely than men to use healthy recipes, 61 percent versus 51 percent, according to the survey. To qualify respondents must do 50 percent or more of the household grocery shopping.

Young Gen Y adults are more likely than average to say they are doing these things more now than in 2010.

The shares of shoppers who have purchased “superfoods” such as dark chocolate, green tea, acai juice dipped slightly in 2011 while tea showed a $167 million increase.

Sales of all types of tea (including ready-to-drink and packaged) were $4.35 billion last year, according to a survey by Progressive Grocer magazine. Supermarkets accounted for 57 percent of tea sales with 15.1 percent from mass super centers. Coffee sales totaled $9.5 billion, according to the magazine’s 64th annual consumer Expenditures Study.

While shoppers are paying more attention to what’s good for them, they also seem to be more aware of what isn’t, and they are less likely to claim ignorance on the topic, according to FMI.

The perception of what is healthy is changing. In the past, consumers focused on avoiding undesirables like sodium, calories, fats and sugar. Shoppers now pay greater attention to inclusion of healthy ingredients and fortification with specific nutrients.

One third of shoppers say they are buying more food and beverage products that are low in or have no calories, sugar, fat and salt. Almost half, 49 percent say they are buying less processed foods.

Learn more at FMI sponsored Food & Health Retail May 29-June 1 at the J.W. Marriott Hill Country conference center, San Antonio, Tex.

Source: FMI Shopping for Health 2012, Progressive Grocer