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Aging population seeks low-fat foods.

Low-fat foods have become a major component of most diets. In a national consumer survey conducted by Healthfocus, Inc., Emmaus, Pa., 70% of respondents reported they always or usually choose low-fat cereals, dairy foods, and meats.

The most significant demographic change impacting the low-fat foods market is the aging of the population. As the baby boom generation reaches middle age, the number of people with diet-related health conditions will grow rapidly. Aware of the increased risk of chronic disease associated with high-fat and high-cholesterol diets, shoppers are becoming more careful about their food choices. Those always or usually selecting low-fat foods rises sharply among shoppers aged 30-39 and peaks at 50-64.

While consumers' demand for low-fat and fat-free health claims on packages is high, their confidence in them is low. They consider low-fat and fat-free to be the most important information on food packages compared to any health claims, including cholesterol, fiber, sodium, calories, or sugar. However, only about 10% of low-fat foods shoppers actually believe the health claims made on packages.

Many food companies have responded quickly to consumers' concern by introducing a new wave of low-fat, non-fat, low-cholesterol, and no-cholesterol products, but today's shoppers aren't so quick to sacrifice taste for health benefits. Low-fat foods shoppers are willing to make compromises such as avoiding some of their favorite treats and giving up convenience, but aren't always willing to deprive their palates.
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Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Date:Oct 1, 1993
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