More than half (53%) of consumers around the world say they are overweight—up from 50 percent three years ago. Roughly one third consider themselves just the right weight, which is down from 40 percent in 2008 and one-in-10 believe they are underweight. New findings from a Nielsen survey of more than 25,000 online respondents from 56 countries around the world reveal how consumers are battling the bulge and how food producers and marketers can help fight the good fight against obesity.
With feedback from more than 25,000 online respondents from 56 countries around the world, this report reveals how consumers are battling the bulge and how food producers and marketers can help fight the good fight against obesity. According to the study, 59 percent of consumers around the world have difficulty understanding nutritional labels on food packaging and more than half (53%) consider themselves overweight.
And what about trust—do consumers believe that claims on product packaging are accurate and truthful? Here too is ambiguity in the minds of consumers. Of 10 different product claims studied, only three received a complete believability rating by more than 20 percent of consumers (calorie content 33%, vitamin content 28% and fat claims 23%), highlighting a need to better educate consumers.
Consumers around the world have healthy eating on their minds and consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers have an opportunity to help. Consumer-friendly nutritional labeling can be a powerful marketing tool as consumers are hungry for easy-to understand information. Clearly there is a need and an opportunity for more education to help reduce the skepticism that is apparent around all parts of the globe. And there is a need to offer tasty and healthful options to satisfy both the mind and body.
It turns out that no matter what region of the world consumers hail from, there is a strong consensus about how to lose weight. Dieting is the most popular method among more than three quarters (78%) of global online respondents, followed closely by engaging in physical exercise (69%). The age-old method of diet and exercise to drop weight reigns supreme as consumers indicated by the comparatively low percentages of respondents using alternative methods, such as taking diet pills/medicine or eating/drinking bars and shakes.
About the study
The Nielsen Global Survey of Food Labeling Trends was conducted in March/April 2011 and in August/September 2011 and polled more than 25,000 consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey was established in 2005.