Younger People Are Willing to Pay for Healthier Food


Younger consumers are much more interested in — and willing to pay premium prices for — food products they perceive as for healthier than are older consumers, according to a global consumer survey shared exclusively with USA TODAY on Monday.

The Nielsen’s Global Health and Wellness Survey offers compelling statistical evidence that younger consumers worldwide are far more concerned about everything from food ingredients to genetically modified food to organic foods than are their parents and grandparents, according to the survey of 30,000 consumers in 60 countries.

The most health-centric are Generation Z — consumers under age 20 — with 41% saying they would willingly pay a premium for “healthier” products. That compares with 32% of Millennials (ages 21 to 34) and about 21% of Baby Boomers (about 50 to mid-60s).

The message to product makers and retailers: Think healthy — and communicate that message.

“Companies that have a clear health orientation to their products will benefit most,” says James Russo, senior vice president of global consumer insights at Nielsen, who led the study.

But, at the same time, marketers need to be very transparent. That’s because 63% of consumers globally are skeptical about about food health claims, the study says.

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Bruce Horovitz

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