Bloomberg reports on a new Nielsen study saying that people increasingly are paying more attention to ingredients and less to marketing claims.
According to the story, “Food purchases are less driven these days by what’s written on the front of the box than what’s listed as ingredients, said Andrew Mandzy, director of strategic insights at Nielsen. Some consumers aren’t even reading so much as they are counting: About 61 percent said that the shorter the ingredients’ list, the healthier the product. Many are looking beyond the boxes themselves. In 2014, 48 percent of consumers went online for health information. In 2016, 68 percent did. Use of technology such as calorie-tracking apps is also up, Mandzy said.”
Of course, “As consumers pay closer attention to ingredients, they may be getting a little too zealous, avoiding some that are largely harmless,” Bloomberg writes. “Sales of products blaring that they are gluten-free are up 11.8 percent over the past five years, and soy-free sales are up 29.8 percent. But health professionals don’t recommend that average Americans make a point of cutting out either of these ingredients.