Accuracy and price increases turn consumers to low nutritional value foods

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Greek consumers are facing a new, more aggressive wave of accuracy, but with undefined consequences for both their physical and mental health in the future.

Geopolitical developments, revenue shrinkage and inflationary pressures, combined with increases in energy and transportation costs, are causing further suffocation and pushing consumers to adopt new shopping habits.

In this context, they reduce their costs, choose fewer and cheaper products, while “freezing” the markets of basic nutrients of the Mediterranean diet.

Nationwide survey conducted between 20 and 26 May 2022 by Ierax Analytics on 1,017 people examines the extent to which the increase in prices of basic food products observed in the last six months has affected eating habits, increasing the consumption of junk and cheap food .

As the founder of Ierax Analytix, Haris Lalatsis, points out in APE-MPE, “initially, we notice that the increase in prices has affected the eating habits of most respondents to a great extent (75%). In fact, it seems that people over the age of 50 have been most strongly affected. “

Consumption of less healthy foods is increasing

According to Mr. Lalatsis, the economic situation expressed by the consumer household plays an important role in eating habits. Specifically, 41% of those who are financially comfortable have not been affected at all by the price increase at a time when the corresponding percentage for those who do not make it is 2%. For the latter category, half said they have been greatly affected.

Also important is the fact that 41% say they consume less healthy food than six months ago. This shows a big deviation from healthy and fresh food (vegetables, fruits), according to Mr. Lalatsis. Respectively, 16% buy more junk food and therefore eat more empty calories than before.

It is worth mentioning that 66% of respondents in the last six months buy less food, due to accuracy and this change is seen mainly in older people over 50 years where the percentage is 75% while the corresponding percentage of young people 18-30 years is 57%.

At the same time, the financial situation seems to play an important role in the amount of food that a consumer buys since 93% of those who can not afford it now buy less food. It is observed that they now buy less fresh food than those who are in a more comfortable financial situation.

In addition, 67% of respondents, compared to the previous six months, now look more closely at the price of food regardless of age. Of course, as the age increases it seems that the respondents feel this to a greater extent. Even those who are financially comfortable now seem to look at prices more than before (75%). Of course, it seems to have strongly influenced those who are not financially comfortable.

Turn to more “dangerous” for health foods

Equally important is the fact that 32% of respondents said they are now less interested in food quality than in six months. This means that 1/3 deviates from the criterion of food quality and therefore turns to more “dangerous” for health foods.

Speaking to APE-MPE, Mr. Lalatsis points out that “in the last 20 years, almost all over the world, we have had the phenomenon of premiumization. This meant that as more consumers made money, they preferred quality over price.

“So the cheap products were somewhat marginalized and the expensive / separate / different ones went up in their choices”. However, the continuous increases in energy, inflation and materials, together with the pandemic, sharply and sharply reduced the disposable income of households. Most changed their eating habits and turned to cheap food.

This, as Mr. Lalatsis explains, hides a big trap. In particular, many studies have been conducted in America which claim that the large difference in price between fresh and healthy foods (eg whole grains, organic, without preservatives) and junk food (junk food with calories, sugar and fats) has caused a great imbalance in society, as the poorest people are forced to turn to unhealthy foods and therefore face health problems in the future.

“When two burgers cost half as much as a salad of fresh vegetables, then we understand that the choice for those who can not afford it is mandatory,” he notes. in the lower economic strata “.

Research by ierax analytix shows the first worrying signs of such a shift, from fresh food to junk. “Although in Greece vegetables and fruits are more accessible, almost half say they buy less healthy food than six months ago. “What will the picture be like in a year if prices continue to rise?” reports.

Respectively, 2/3 look more at the price of food and turn their attention from the label and the ingredients, mainly to the cost. But this way they ignore the low nutritional value of the foods they choose and end up consuming empty calories.

“We keep for last note that 66% has reduced the food he buys. Maybe a percentage would have bought more food, as in Greece we had a strong phenomenon of food waste, but some people have limited their food and therefore do not get the calories and nutrients they need. The effects on the health system will be seen in the coming years, unfortunately “, Mr. Lalatsis emphasizes

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