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Changing eating habits midst a global pandemic

Global trends such as organic, clean label, gut health, fibers and sugar reduction has experienced renewed popularity due to COVID-19 leading healthier demands, according to an expert roundtable completed by Nutrition Insights.

According to a survey by FMCG Gurus, 72% (in a total of 23,000 respondents) of European shoppers will make ‘greater attempts’ to eat and drink more healthily in the future following their experiences with COVID-19. The roundtable from Nutrition Insight shows a similar trend: Increased attention towards health and well-being amongst consumers. As a consequence, trends such as organic, gut health and fibres are undergoing renewed attention.

In a special edition of the Danish self-governing organisation, Madkulturen’s population survey, they take a closer look at what the Danes themselves assess that the lockdown has meant for their food intake and eating habits. The survey showed that 40% has changed eating habits in a positive manner, with one of the side effects being eating healthier. This is well aligned with the general increase in consumer awareness on health.

Successful Danish innovation drives healthy solutions

In Denmark, there is several initiatives that serves the overall mission: Making it easier for consumers to make the healthier choice. One example is the Nordic nutrition label called the Keyhole. The Keyhole label lay down criteria for fat, sugar, salt, dietary fibre, wholegrain, fruit and vegetables and energy, depending on the food category.

Another example is the bread company Lantmännen Schulstad that pushes healthy eating and whole grains alternatives by making bread a dietary saint instead of a sinner in their product line “Levebrød” that contains a minimum of 8% fibres. More than half of Lantmännen Schulstad’s products are marked with the Danish whole grain logo, making it easier for consumers to find healthier alternatives.

At C.P. Kelco, a global nature-based ingredient solutions company with operations in Denmark, they have conducted a sensory property analysis to explore how you can reduce the sugar content without compromising on appearance, texture and shelf life. Their solution is pectin, a nature-based ingredient derived from sustainably sourced citrus peels. It boosts density, resulting in a richer mouth sensation while leaving the viscosity relatively unchanged.

Health and nutrition are linked to all 17 SDGs and each one plays an important role in driving sustainable development. As more consumers demand nutritious food, food companies use their innovative knowledge to explore the opportunities on international markets. This is why developing healthier products is top-of-mind for the Danish food industry. Read more in the white paper on Health.

Sources: Nutrition Insight, Madkulturen and FMCG Gurus