Yogurt among the top foods Americans consider nutritious – Danone North America

By Teodora Lyubomirova

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Yogurt Yoghurt Dairy Danone plant-based Nutrition Us

US consumers also believe food brands and companies hold the biggest responsibility for the nation’s nutrition, while multicultural communities are worst hit when it comes to access to nutritious foods.

In partnership with Zeno Group, Danone North America surveyed more than 4,000 Americans to find out how important is access to nutritious foods for US consumers and what are the most significant barriers to nutrition.

The survey showed that food accessibility – a term that combines factors such as food availability, security, affordability and quality – is top-of-the mind for the respondents, who ranked the issue as the third most important to them, on a par with healthcare and ahead of jobs and the environment.

The issue ranked even higher among respondents on a lower income, who also admitted they maintained a poor diet – 7 out of 10 lower-income respondents said they did not eat a very nutritious diet. The disparity was wider among multicultural respondents, with barriers related to income, region and education affecting those consumers more negatively than the general population.

More than 8 in 10 of those surveyed understood that better access to nutritious foods would result in a higher quality of life, including feeling better, having more energy and overall improved physical health and well-being. Affordability was also a significant barrier to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for 57% of those polled, who stated that cutting back on purchases had made it more difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Americans expressed they believe that more access to nutritious foods would also enhance childhood development (83%); improve health disparities (82%); reduce healthcare costs (81%).

Danone North America also found that respondents – particularly Gen Z and Millennials – understood the link between nutrition and mental health, with 76% thinking what they ate affected their mental/emotional state and 78% of the opinion that their mental health affected their food choices.

When it came to foods that those polled described as nutritious, yogurt – both scoopable and drinkable – ranked among the top 5 foods Americans associated with good nutritional value. Among consumers from multicultural backgrounds, plant-based milk alternatives and other dairy-free options were also in the top 5 list.

Food firms seen as more accountable than government

Survey data also highlighted that food corps (60%) and retailers (56%) were viewed as just as or more responsible than the federal government (55%) for the nation’s access to nutrition. But developing an affordable product was not what most consumers wanted – the majority (66%) ranked support for local food systems as the top priority for food companies to enact. This is followed by making affordable products (63%), providing educational resources (62%), diversifying packaging and price points (61%) and supporting policy change (58%).

According to Danone, this means that Americans are looking for ‘a collaborative effort to improve access to nutritious foods’ and that ‘the responsibility falls equally on the public and private sectors’.

Danone North America is currently attending the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Ideas Festival, where the company is set to ‘convene leaders from the public and private sectors who are on the frontlines of advancing nutrition in the US, to discuss tangible solutions that will help create a future where nutrition is more inclusive’. The company is also investing $22m to improve access to and availability of nutritious foods by 2030 and supports a range of proposals and initiatives, such as the proposed WIC food package.

State of Nutrition Equality Study
Carried out May 2023 by Danone North American in partnership with Zeno Group

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