‘Clean eating’ trend helps put avocados, almond milk and coconut water at the top of consumers’ shopping list in 2016

Bracknell, UK – 27 January 2017 – The nation’s bid to be healthy in 2016 helped to push up sales of almond milk, avocados, and new flavours of water last year, according to new retail data released by IRI, the provider of big data and predictive analytics for FMCG manufacturers and retailers.

The company’s Product Growth Categories data for 2016 shows a clear trend towards alternative or healthy products, with almond milk, a non-dairy alternative, topping the list (by percentage growth) with sales of £62 million, up 32% over the previous year. With supermarket sales of £187 million, avocados came third in the list, showing 28% growth over the previous year, followed by fortified water (£55 million) up 25%, and coconut water (£63 million) up 20% over 2015.

2016 also saw strong sales of peanut butter – an industry now worth £80 million to UK retailers – up 20%, and juice smoothies up 17.5% to £154 million.

Martin Wood, Head of Strategic Insight – Retail at IRI, suggests: “2016 was the year of so-called ‘clean eating’ led by a group of lifestyle gurus, food bloggers and Instagrammers who are highly influential among consumers, particularly younger shoppers. It encourages people to eat non-processed foods like fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and protein, and drink lots of water.

“IRI’s figures suggest the trend may have influenced what people put in their shopping baskets, with some products showing exceptional growth in an FMCG market that has been relatively flat over the last 12 months. Usually we see a big uptick in sales of healthy products, like fruit and veg, at the start of each year triggered by New Year resolutions to be more healthy, but this was clearly more sustained growth over most of the year, apart from in the lead up to Christmas when shopping is strongly geared towards buying spirits, wine and other seasonal treats.”

As well as a move away by consumers from what are perceived as less healthy products, like sugary drinks, and growth in vegetarian alternatives, IRI points to new product innovation and improved distribution of products as a significant growth driver for retailers and food and drink manufacturers.

“Retailers are wising up to changing consumer habits and preferences and this is making a big difference in the availability of certain products on supermarket shelves, like dairy alternatives (coconut, almond, rice etc) and foods with plant-based proteins. But retailers are also faced with a dilemma – balancing demand by shoppers for choice and convenience with the need to rationalise product ranges and make the whole shopping experience easier.”

Despite the prominence of healthy and alternative items on the 2016 best seller list, sparkling wine and golden and dark rum also feature in the top 10 of products ranked by growth, while gin, which had a strong year last year in supermarkets, also features in the top 20.

IRI Product Growth Categories – 2016 (listed by percentage growth):

Category Size in 2016 £M Growth % Growth £M
1. Almond Milk £62  31.7 £15
2. E-cigarettes* £81  30.1 £19
3. Avocados* £187  28.3 £41
4. Fortified Water £55 24.7 £11
5. Coconut Water £63  20.4 £11
6. Peanut Butter £80 20.2 £13
7. Juice Smoothies £154  17.5 £23
8. Sparkling Wine £720  14.8 £93
9. Golden and Dark Rum* £129 12.7 £14
10. Popcorn £128  12.6 £14
11. Gin* £436 12.5 £48
12. Prepared Salads* £397 12.3 £43
13. Bottled Plain Sparkling Water £113 12.1 £12
14. Face Make Up £333 11.6 £35
15. Incontinence Pads £138  11.3 £14
16. Carbonated Mixer Drinks £172  11.1 £17
17. Frozen Vegetarian Foods £155  10.7 £15
18. Lunch Salads* £298  10.2 £28
19. Bottled Plain Still Water £650  9.3 £55
20. Soft Fruit* £1,151  8.9 £94
All figures from IRI (All Outlets) except * from IRI Retail Advantage (top 9 supermarkets only: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Co-op Food, M&S Food, Iceland, Ocado)

Notes for editors:

About IRI:
IRI is a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help FMCG, OTC health care, retailers and media companies to grow. With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all integrated on an on-demand cloud-based technology platform, IRI guides over 5,000 clients globally in their quests to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers and deliver growth. www.IRIworldwide.com. Follow IRI on Twitter.

For further information please contact:

Amanda Hassall, PR Consultant
Eureka Communications
Email: amanda@eurekacomms.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1628 822741 or +44 (0)1420 564346; Mob: +44 (0)7855 359889

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