When it comes to health and wellness among Americans, diet is playing an increasingly important role. In fact, 48 million households across the country have an ailment sufferer who manages their condition with diet. Additionally, 60% of Americans say they make conscious dietary choices to help prevent conditions like obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol.
Health and wellness is even more relevant for those either suffering from an ailment or looking to prevent one. Across the U.S., there are 24.8 million households who suffer from diabetes, 10.3 million who are lactose intolerant and 3.9 million who are gluten negative. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of diabetic sufferers, 92% of gluten negative and 72% of lactose intolerant consumers say that they work within the confines of a specialized diet to help manage their conditions. All three of these shopper groups spend more than the average household on food purchases. Diabetic households managing with diet spend 6% more annually across the fresh department and the center of the store, and gluten negative and lactose intolerant shoppers managing with diet spend 17% and 8% more, respectively.
Knowing how much these groups spend on food is a great starting point, but it’s just as important to understand how their shopping habits differ from other consumers. Diabetic sufferers who work to manage their ailment with diet, for example, spend more across fresh departments than the average consumer. In comparison to the average shopper, they spend 10% more annually in the perimeter of the store, particularly in the produce and deli departments.
Lactose intolerant consumers also take advantage of the fresh department to manage their ailment, spending 20% more annually in the produce department and 13% more in seafood compared to the average household.
Gluten negative consumers spend 48% more than the average household in the produce department and 24% more on meat, but spend 5% less than the average household in bakery.
Food is just one of the options Americans suffering from chronic diseases use to help manage their ailments, and their spending on fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat and fish are reflective of their focus on personal health and wellness. Retailers should be aware of how these ailment sufferers shop, specifically when it comes to the perimeter of the store, to ensure they are not only providing the right assortment of fresh products to meet their specialized diet needs and desires, but also highlighting the benefits for these specific ailments.