Energy and weight-loss top benefits consumers seek from food, beverages, and nutrients, latest IFIC survey finds

The International Food Information Council (IFIC) released its new 2022 Food and Health Survey polling consumers on their motivations when purchasing food.

The International Food Information Council (IFIC) released its new 2022 Food and Health Survey polling consumers on their motivations when purchasing food. This year’s survey found that energy and weight loss are top-two health drivers when consumers are making buying decisions.

This is the 17th year IFIC has conducted this survey. The 2022 survey took place online between March 23, 2022, and April 4, 2022, on 1,005 Americans aged 18-80.

“More than a third of Americans (37%) are seeking energy and less fatigue from foods, beverages, and nutrients,” the report states. “Other top benefits sought include weight loss/management (30%), digestive/gut health (29%), heart/cardiovascular health (28%), improved sleep (26%), and immune function/health (25%). Improved sleep is more likely to be sought by younger generations (35% Gen Z; 33% Millennials), while heart health is more likely to be sought by Gen X (31%) and Boomers (33%).”

In terms of weight loss, the survey showed a significant increase in the number of Americans reporting they are now adopting a specific diet or eating pattern—up to 52% of consumers in 2022 compared to 39% in 2021. Specifically, consumers reported clean eating (16%), mindful eating (14%), calorie counting (13%), and plant-based eating (12%). Consumers surveyed also viewed sugars as the calorie source most likely to cause weight gain (22% of respondents), followed by carbohydrates (21%), fats (19%), and protein (6%).

Consumers are also taking nutrition and health approaches to help manage their stress levels, with up to 30% of those surveyed trying to make changes to diet/nutrition for this reason.

The survey also polled consumer attitudes on sustainability and clean-label food attributes. Though it found that consumers ranked the importance of a food’s environmental and social sustainability highly in 2022, it also found that there are limits to the price consumers are willing to pay for such products. If the price of a product touting high environmental and social sustainability is too high, it decreases the likelihood consumers will purchase.

For more insights, view the report here.