Home >Industry >Retail >Study says 78% Indian consumers check for fat and oil in packaged food
Consumers in India report the amount of fat is nearly as important as the type of oil .. Photo: Kalpak Pathak/HT (Kalpak Pathak/HT)
Consumers in India report the amount of fat is nearly as important as the type of oil .. Photo: Kalpak Pathak/HT (Kalpak Pathak/HT)

Study says 78% Indian consumers check for fat and oil in packaged food

  • Around 89% of Chinese consumers are concerned about fats and oils, while the figure stands at 68% globally
  • The FATitude report has been curated to highlight the evolving consumer perspective towards changing lifestyle and its requirements

NEW DELHI: About 78% of Indian consumers check for fats and oils in the packaged food they buy, a figure also true for other developing economies such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Russia.

When determining which packaged foods to purchase, consumers in India report the amount of fat is nearly as important (85%) as the type of oil (87%).

These are findings from a new global FATitudes study by American corporation Cargill. It is conducted each year to learn more about consumers’ awareness, perceptions and behaviour around fats and oils found in packaged foods, and to help inform about the future of food innovation. This year, approximately 6,600 primary household grocery shoppers were surveyed in 12 countries including the United States, Germany, China, Brazil, the United Kingdom and more.

The FATitude report has been curated to highlight the evolving consumer perspective towards changing lifestyle and its requirements, said Piyush Patnaik, managing director, Cargill’s oils business in India said in a statement. "Given the nature of our business, with various consumer brands like NatureFresh, Gemini Cooking Oil, Leonardo Olive Oil, amongst others, it is our responsibility to provide products that stand tall and proud of consumer requirements parameters," he said.

Around 89% of Chinese consumers are concerned about fats and oils, while the figure stands at 68% globally and at 55% in developed economies such as the US, UK, Australia and France. German consumers (48%) pay the least attention.

A majority of global consumers report the amount of fat (70%) and type of oil (67%) are important factors when determining which packaged foods to purchase. Nearly two-thirds (61%) of US consumers report avoiding certain fats or oils, and among those who rank as “clean-label seekers", 83% report avoiding certain fats or oils, like saturated and trans fats. Olive oil tops the list in every country for impact on purchase and perceptions of healthfulness in packaged foods, followed by fish and avocado oils.

A vast majority of global consumers, 93%, were aware of omega-3s, which is an important nutrient with many health benefits some consumers don’t get through their typical diet. Further, most consumers are checking labels for fat-related claims (fat-free, low fat, etc.) on packaged foods, and 54% say such a claim makes them more likely to purchase.

Consumers in China (62%) and Brazil (61%) indicate they are more likely to purchase a product with a sustainability claim. Consumers in Russia (73%) indicate they are more likely to purchase a product with a non-GMO (non-genetically modified) claim. In most countries, an organic certification on a label is more impactful on purchasing decisions versus a non-GMO verification.

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