CAN ‘CONVENIENCE’ ALSO BE HEALTHY?

More than their parents and infinitely more than their grandparents, Millennials are a generation of influencers. Potentially, everything they do, eat or think can be turned into a post, an Instagram picture or a reviews—the line between exposure and personal recommendation is blurred.

Now, as Millennials inevitably age and start their own families, their expectations and habits are reshaping the face of the F&B industry.

We know from retailers that healthy eating and convenience are key considerations for modern consumers, and traditionally the two factors have always been seen as mutually exclusive. What if they are not?

We’re used to the idea that eating healthy requires commitment and cooking skills; that time-saving meals are necessarily less likely to be healthful. However, as more women enter the workforce and modern consumers become more time-poor, they want to incorporate as many beneficial products as possible into their diet without spending hours at the stove. They are also willing to pay premium for this, as other categories have demonstrated.

In this landscape, food companies offering nutritious and convenience options can win their hearts, hands down.

Striking this balance is anything but impossible. Snackable produce items, like single-serve portions of fruit and vegetables, are just one example of ‘healthy convenience’. Slowly, manufacturers are responding to this emerging trend by lowering sodium, fat and sugar content, as well as getting rid of artificial colours and flavours. Snack-friendly, on-the-go formats (i.e. resealable pouches) are also on the rise. Even the frozen food sector has worked hard to shake off its not-so-healthy reputation by adding trendy healthy ingredients like quinoa to their formulations.

This space is still in its infancy, but signs suggest that convenience food is going to become a lot more convenient.