How Indian Consumers Have Become Conscious Of The Ingredients In Their Food

The landscape of food consumption in India has been going through a transformation owing to a host of reasons. Several national reports highlight growth in the level of awareness regarding health, dietary choices, and the sourcing and procuring of food among average Indians. The projected trends indicate that the future of food in India rests on mindful choices about sourcing, overall value, and individual preferences of any product. Additionally, COVID has played a pivotal role in shaping consumer behaviour and raising consciousness around food safety. Consumers have become more conscious about their health, and the food they consume. They are looking at preventing various health conditions, and hence their food habits have become more preventive than reactive.

Seeking information:

There is a huge shift in seeking information about the ingredients used in food products and packaged food. People no longer pick food items from the shelf without checking on the nutrient values, calorie counts, and ingredients used. Access to Information has become easy and this has made consumers more mindful of what they are consuming. Health apps, websites, and social media also have a major role in spreading awareness. They have made it convenient to gain insights into the nutritional content and value of different foods. Today, we have doctors and dieticians spreading awareness about healthy eating through their social media platforms, and consumers are lapping it up. Celebrities and athletes too keep their fans informed about their diet plans and ingredients that are useful and nutritious. This has influenced consumers to be more aware of their food intake. Consumer consciousness has propelled brands to be mindful of their food production. Brands too are going healthy by making their products enriched with nutrients and using only healthy ingredients. Also, brands have started sharing more insights and information about the ingredients used while producing a food item. This is a landmark change in the food packaging industry which is making processes more transparent and consumer friendly.

Also Read: Avoid Using Newspaper To Wrap, Serve Food: Food Authority Highlights Health Risks Involved

Snacks may not be as healthy as they seem

Photo Credit: iStock

Healthier choices gaining popularity

Seeing the trend towards healthier and more wholesome food options, brands are offering a plethora of healthier options, ranging from gluten-free to vegan products. The emphasis today is on locally sourced, fresh, and seasonal ingredients over processed and cold-stored products. Brands are also slowly shifting towards wholesome and natural food choices. Even in the snacking segment, brands and consumers are shifting their choices to smart snacking with products such as health bars, protein shakes, fibers, and micronutrient-rich food items including seeds and grains in a big way. The preference is always for food items with no/little artificial additives and preservatives. Sugar is gradually taking a back seat in all kinds of food items making way for healthier sugar options such as jaggery and honey dips. Another trend that is fast catching up is consumers’ rising affinity towards spices. People are looking for spices to help them in their wellness journey and looking at ways to help increase the application of spice beyond food. Spices are being used in an array of beverages including soups.

Meanwhile, government regulations also have made it mandatory for brands to share details of all ingredients used and their calorie counts. This has made it easier for consumers to watch what they are eating. This transformation in the food packaging industry has helped consumers embark on a great health journey. And the emphasis is on complete well-being which goes much beyond food habits.

Author’s Bio: Jaisingh Vaerkar is the managing partner at The Peninsular Export Company – Makers of SAARRU

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