The Major Health Trends Driving Aussies Wild
Consumer attitudes, expectations and priorities have changed markedly over the years in Australia as the nation’s demand for healthy, natural and organic products has matured.
Clement Hery from analytics group IRI Australia revealed some fascinating insights into this topic at the 2019 Naturally Good Expo in his packed seminar session Health Trends Driving Growth in Australian FMCG.
“Australians are more educated than ever before in personal health and wellbeing, and they’re savvy in how, where and why they shop for products to meet their needs,” Clement said. “Trend cycles are also quickening, intensifying the battle for relevancy for both brands and retailers.”
What Aussies are spending their free time on
Apart from sleep, work and commuting, IRI research reveals that we are spending the bulk of our free time per day on domestic chores, (1.8 hours), followed by social media (1.5 hours) and eating (1 hour). We also spend 45 minutes per day each on shopping and grooming, 40 minutes on food preparation and 20 minutes a day on exercise.
Such a strong emphasis on food in our daily lives has led to increased consumer demand for healthier products. This demand – for healthy products that are also convenient and affordable – is now driving growth in the FMCG market.
Clement identified five particular health trends:
An increased focus on gut health and what we put into our bodies is greatly influencing the market, with 50 per cent of Australians saying they regularly experience gut problems such as IBS and bloating. The rise of products such as A2 milk and kombucha drinks has been reflective of this.
A growing interest in non-traditional protein sources has shifted from the focus of athletes to the mainstream. Throughout 2018 plant-based protein snacks achieved over $188 million in domestic sales.
Good fats and carbs
Fats, in particular, have benefited from fresh thinking around nutrition. Demand for olive oil is still going strong, with $42 million in Australian sales over the past two years. Interestingly, there has also been a steady resurgence in getting back to basics with butter – demand grew 16 per cent over the past two years compared to a -5 per cent drop in the demand for margarine.
Clean and green
Our high awareness of the benefits of chemical-free products has been a major driver in the domestic cleaning sector and personal grooming area. People are now embracing an “I want what’s good for me and the planet too” approach with purchasing.
Five leading Aussie cosmetic brands – Australian Botanical Pure Plant Oil, Sukin, Only Good, Thankyou and Organic Choice have added $50 million in additional supermarket sales over the past two years.
Lastly, healthy alternatives to traditional snack foods has been a huge growth area in the FMCG space. “Better for you” brands are now worth a whopping $478 million in the space.
People are still craving snack foods, just healthier versions – giving rise to innovative new products such as Harvest Snacks Snow Pea Crisps and protein-infused Fropro – Australia’s first five-star ice cream.
Clement says growth in the natural space will continue to escalate given the increased consumer education of the main issues. There will be an expected proliferation of products catering for more specific niches, more consumers making decisions based on their own beliefs and personalised goals, people adhering to more individual, forcefully expressed health needs and further embracing what being “healthy” actually means.