Grocery shoppers are prioritizing value and affordability over foods that provide immunity, the opposite of the focus on immunity that has emerged during the pandemic, according to a survey of registered dietitians.
the Pollock Communications’ annual “What’s the Trend in Nutrition” survey Dietitian today It found that 70.4% of RDNs expect the top driver for consumers in 2023 will be affordable, value-based foods, followed by accessible and convenient foods (59.1%) and, in third place, immune-supporting foods (57.6%).
While the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend towards “food as medicine,” the report said, the rising cost of living is prompting consumers to shift their focus toward value.
However, consumers are still concerned about their health, and remain interested in “superfoods,” especially those that promote gut health. In fact, it was predicted that fermented foods — such as yogurt, kimchi, kombucha tea, and pickled vegetables — would be the No. 1 superfood consumers would be looking for in 2023. That’s No. 6.y A year in a row fermented foods topped the list.
Other superfoods that RDNs predict will be in demand in 2023 include:
• Seeds such as chia and hemp
• Nuts, including pistachios, almonds and walnuts
• Leafy greens such as spinach
• Aquatic greens, such as algae, seaweed and sea moss
• Green tea
• Non-dairy milk
The report noted that watery vegetables and non-dairy milks were new to the top 10 list this year, while kale and exotic fruits slipped out of the top 10.
In fact, plant-based eating has continued to gain popularity, the survey found, with RDN ranking it the third most popular diet trend after intermittent fasting and ketogenic diets. However, despite the popularity of vegan diets, only 1% of RDNs surveyed reported recommending highly processed meat alternatives.
The RDNs also expected consumers to continue to snack as much as they have over the past two years. The top three reasons why consumers continue to snack are boredom (71.8%), convenience (71.8%), and working from home (67%).
“Consumers are more aware than ever of the benefits that food can provide for gut health and immune function,” said Louise Pollock, president of Pollock Communications. “As consumers face higher costs at the grocery store, they will look for affordable foods and snacks that still provide valuable health benefits. Our survey findings reflect how consumer behaviors change as COVID-19 restrictions ease, remote working remains intact, and inflation rises – From prioritizing affordable foods to a constant interest in snacking.”
The report also highlighted the amount of false and misleading nutritional information on the internet and on social media in particular. RDNs cited Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok as the top sources of disinformation, and also said that social media influencers were the best platform for dissemination of disinformation.
Social media influencers are talking about wellness and nutrition at unprecedented rates, yet people struggle to distinguish reliable information from myths. This only supports the need to amplify trusted sources of nutrition information, such as registered dietitians,” said Mara Honecker, publisher of Today’s Dietitian.