More than three-quarters of customers (77 per cent) have either increased or are planning to increase their fruit and vegetable intake, according to new research by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD).
The research revealed, based on 1368 consumers, 16 per cent of consumers now list the environment as their “main motivator for healthy and sustainable eating”.
Some 58 per cent of consumers added they are open to changing their eating habits.
The research also found there has been a rise in people eating meat only twice a week or less, 39 per cent compared to 34 per cent in 2020.
“This shows the opportunity for food and drink companies to act now and help consumers turn positive new behaviours into long-term changes to their diets,” IGD director of health and sustainability Mark Little said.
“Not only are consumers increasingly willing to change their eating habits for health reasons, but they are also starting to better understand the connection between their diets, the environment and how changing what they eat could impact their own health, as well as the planet’s health.”
IGD also revealed its new partnership with the University of Leeds, which will see retailers and manufacturers trial a series of interventions aiming to shift people towards healthier and sustainable food and drink choices.
These measures include recipe cards, media promotions and making sure healthier and nutritional foods are well signposted and highlighting fruit, vegetables, grains and pulses.
Little added: “From effective marketing and product placement to meal planning and recipe inspiration, there are lots of really practical actions businesses can take to help make sure consumers continue to shift towards healthy and sustainable diets.
“We know from our research that consumers certainly have an appetite to move towards healthier and more sustainable diets; as an industry, we all have a role to play in helping encourage this positive behaviour, and if we come together our impact will be much greater.”