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'Natural' food and drink in demand

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A growing sense of health-consciousness among British consumers has led to a rise in the number of additive- and preservative-fee products on the market, it has been revealed.

A new study by Mintel, entitled the Global New Products Database (GNPD), has revealed that a quarter of new food and drink products launched in the UK this year are free from additives and preservatives.

Nearly 1,000 such products have been launched so far this year, up from just 800 during the whole of 2006, analysts said.

David Jago, director of Mintel GNPD custom solutions, said that manufacturers were responding to a growing desire for "a more natural lifestyle".

"The assumption is that it is better for you to avoid additives and preservatives, as many Brits are concerned about the effect they may have on their health," he explained, adding that many parents also worry about the effect some additives may have on their children's behaviour.

Their fears may well have scientific grounding, as a recent study by experts at Southampton University found that certain combinations of artificial food colours may indeed be linked with poor behaviour and hyperactivity.ADNFCR-858-ID-18285491-ADNFCR

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