The Covid-19 pandemic made the world realize the importance of healthy food habits since they're tightly linked to a strong immune system and overall general wellness.
Besides that, the major drivers for the growth of the healthy food market are the changing lifestyles of consumers and the growing awareness about the benefits of healthy eating.
The rising disposable incomes in developing countries are also playing a pivotal role in the growth of this market. The World Health Organization announced the theme for 2022's World Food Safety Day - celebrated on 7 June - to be ''safer food, better health''.
That is a testament that food safety will continue to be of utmost importance in the coming years. Here are a few facts and figures highlighting the importance and growth of the healthy food market.
Growing Trend of Organic Food Consumption
With rising awareness about the health hazards of pesticides, growth hormones, and other chemicals used in conventional food production, people are turning to organic foods in droves.
- Statista data shows that of the ten countries leading the organic food consumption per capita, the first eight are in Europe, followed by the US in the ninth and Canada in the tenth place.
- The world currently has 74,9 million hectares of organic production area, a massive increase of more than 37 million hectares during the past decade.
- The Organic Food Global Market Report 2022 forecasts the organic food market to grow to $437,36 billion by 2026, boasting an annual growth rate of 14%. North America was the most significant region of the organic food market, followed by Western Europe.
- An IMARC Group report highlighted that organic food production and consumption primarily include organic fruits, vegetables, bread, bakery, beverages, cereal, grains, poultry, dairy, meat, and processed foods.
- The 2022 Food and Health Survey by Food Insight found that 39% of consumers buy food products labeled ‘’natural’’ because they consider natural foods healthier.
Plans to Eat Healthier
All over the world, people are trying to be healthier. They are eating better, exercising more, and taking care of themselves.
One of the primary reasons to eat healthier is weight loss. By cutting out processed foods, eating more vegetables and fruits, and watching portion sizes, people try to lose weight through a balanced diet.
The global population is also changing its eating habits to prevent health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.
- Statista data shows that 48% of the US population plans to eat healthier in the future.
- Meanwhile, the global health and wellness food market will reach a valuation of a trillion US dollars by 2026.
- The American and Chinese markets are the largest when it comes to revenue generation from vitamins and minerals. Meanwhile, the Japanese market generated the third-highest revenue, amounting to nearly $2 billion.
- The 2022 Food and Health Survey by Food Insight reports that 52% of the respondents reported following a healthy eating plan. The common terms used by respondents were ‘mindful eating’ or ‘clean eating.’
Clean eating implies consuming whole, unprocessed foods free of additives, chemicals, preservatives, and refined sugars. The goal is to eat foods in their most natural state or as close to their natural state as possible.
Whole fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats are all considered clean foods.
Growing Food Prices
While the healthy food market is expanding at an impressive rate, the rise in food prices puts healthy eating out of reach for many consumers, especially those on a tight budget.
For example, the cost of fruits and vegetables has risen sharply in recent years, while the prices of unhealthy junk food and processed foods have remained relatively stable.
- The April 2022 Commodity Markets Outlook report by the World Bank shows that the war in Ukraine has changed the global production, consumption, and trade patterns for commodities, taking the prices to a record high and exacerbating inflation and food insecurity.
- In the coming months, access to fertilizers will be a huge challenge for farmers since Russia is among the two major exporters of fertilizers. The cost of producing vegetables, grains, and other crops will continue to rise as a result, making healthy food even more expensive.
- The 2022 State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) report found that 828 million people were affected by hunger in 2021 - an increase of 46 million from 2020.
- The combined effect of global inflation and the Russian-Ukraine conflict means food insecurity may get worse in 20 countries, as per the WFP(World Food Program).
An Overview of Europe's Healthy Food Market
Europe, being one of the world's most affluent regions, has been a key player in the global health food market for many years.
The region's demand for healthy and nutritious food has grown significantly in recent years due to European consumers' increasing awareness of health and wellness. It has led to a boom in the region's health food industry.
A recent report on the global health and wellness food market shows that there will be an 8,27% CAGR(compound annual growth rate) in the industry by 2025.
- Europe will contribute 33% of this growth.
- Meanwhile, the incremental growth will reach $362,15 billion.
According to the Europe Plant-Based Food Market report, the plant-based food market in Europe will reach $16,7 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 10,1%.
- The report further found the European plant-based food market segmented into pea, rice protein, wheat, almond, soy, and other plants. The soy segment will be the major revenue generator in 2022. Its dominance in this regard is due to soy ingredients' easy availability and cost-effectiveness.
- Meanwhile, the pea segment will have the highest growth rate till 2029.
- Germany will lead the European healthy food market in 2022 due to its rising vegetarian population and higher consumer awareness. 75% of German households expressed the desire to see more vegetarian products in stores.
According to Statista, Germany had the highest number of vegan or vegetarian individuals aged 18 to 29 in 2022. As a result, Germany's meat substitute market will reach $593 million by the end of 2022. Moreover, the amount of meat consumption will also fall significantly in the country.
The role of Europe in this growth is attributed to the high awareness of health and wellness foods, the presence of a large number of working-class citizens, and the growing trend of veganism.
Summing up, the global healthy food market is experiencing positive development. The reasons for this are manifold and range from the trend towards a healthier lifestyle to increased public awareness of the dangers of an unhealthy diet.