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Trying to understand what counts as healthy lifestyle for consumers

NEW year, new you? That's the intriguing question posed by Carat's insights and strategy director Dael Wood (pictured) in a new report on Irish consumers' New Year resolutions.

With health, diet and exercise on the menu for many after the Christmas excesses, Carat wanted to get a better understanding on what being healthy really means to Irish consumers.

Wood says a consumer panel was asked about their healthy eating and lifestyle habits.


They were also quizzed about the usefulness of health offerings from brands in that space.

As many as nine in 10 consumers see themselves as going for healthy options.

Fresh is best for consumers, with 68pc saying they eat fresh and unprocessed food where possible.

Balance works for half of consumers, who trade off good eating with bad eating and choose low fats products.

Healthy eating habits increase with age, peaking for those aged 55 and over, whereas those in the 18-34 age group are most likely to eat whatever they like, but exercise.

Consumers are less likely to rely on calorie counting as a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle.

Added benefits such as vitamins fail to impress most food shoppers.

When it comes to food slogans, 'healthy menu ideas' tops the list, resonating most with middle-aged and mature consumers.

'Low fat and low sugar foods that still taste great' is next in line, followed by 'healthy eating programmes'.

'Number of calories' scores high with young adults, but is less a concern for older consumers, suggesting a more seasoned attitude to health with age.

'Easy small portions' is well received by young adults and women.