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Lower Calorie Foods: Meet Consumer Demands, Drive Company Growth

Consumers everywhere are looking for lower calorie foods on the grocery shelves, but are they being heard? And what does demand for lower calorie foods mean for food and beverage companies trying to keep up? A research report from Hudson Institute, a nonpartisan policy research organization, reveals that over a period of five years ending December, 2012, sixteen Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation companies responded to consumer demand by increasing sales of lower-calorie products, including new products, smaller portion sizes and reformulated products.

The report showed sales growth from these lower calorie products outpaced growth of higher calorie foods by a ratio of 99-to-1. The comparison is vast, but the data doesn’t end there. By the end of 2012, demand for lower calorie foods didn’t slow—these types of products are increasingly available in store as data noted a 14.1% net increase of these products still on grocery shelves.

Perhaps the most compelling information demonstrating the shift in consumers choosing better for you products is sales – noting a $485 million increase in sales of lower calorie products, while higher calorie items remained flat at a $2 million increase. Shoppers are buying and demanding these lower calorie products.

“While there is still much work to be done in addressing the nation’s obesity epidemic, this study reveals that consumer preferences are changing, and answering the demand for lower calorie products is both good for business and America’s waistline.” Hank Cardello, Senior Fellow & Director, Obesity Solutions Initiative, Hudson Institute.

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