A “health and wellness gap” has emerged among consumers as almost half say a healthy lifestyle is important to them, but healthy products occupy less than one-quarter of their spending. The results are from the 2021 AlixPartners Health and Wellness Survey, which polled 6,064 consumers aged 18 and above across China, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K. and the U.S.

Results indicated that the main barriers preventing consumers from purchasing healthier products are price (35%), lack of clarity around whether a product is healthy (22%), lack of availability in stores (21%), and products not tasting good or working well (14%).

The survey revealed a demand for healthier prepared chilled or frozen meal options. Over half (56%) of consumers surveyed said they lacked healthy options in stores and would like to see more variety, with the greatest demand demonstrated in France (61%), the U.K. (54%) and the U.S. (49%).

Additional food product categories are seeing an uptick in demand elsewhere in the world, including:

  • 40% of German respondents want healthier traditional and alternative salty snacks
  • 58% of Italian respondents want healthier fresh meat, meat alternatives, and seafood products
  • 91% of Chinese respondents want healthier dairy products, dairy-free alternatives, and eggs

David Garfield, global leader of the consumer products practice at AlixPartners and leader of the firm’s Americas business unit, said that consumers understand what it takes to be healthy and desire to embrace a healthy lifestyle, but many still view health and wellness products as niche.

“It’s time for brands to move past educating consumers on healthy living and to instead help them to achieve their goals,” he said. “Demand for healthier products is now so high that, if they’re not doing so already, consumer product companies need to be making health and wellness a core part of their customer proposition.”

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