Healthy Eating Research

Cover picture of an article on an international study on eating habits

As health, lifestyle and food are all hot topics today, it is important tounderstand people’s opinion and practical knowledge of these topics.  GLOBAL wanted to create significant value for clients, enabling them to gain a better understanding of a lifestyle focusing on healthy eating. Here, we present a simple, clear and (we believe) remarkable cross-country comparison, showing the key results of the research from nine markets on the topic of healthy eating.


  • The objective of the research was to better understand the topic of eating habits and attitudes towards healthy food.
  • The framework for healthy eating and nutrition
  • Potential product gaps (nutritional food / nutritional supplements) and opportunities for product variants– where there is a clear demand across multiple markets
  • The differences between men and women in terms of habits and attitudes
  • The differences between families with younger and older children
  • The differences between countries and markets


  • Healthy life and lifestyle
  • Healthy and unhealthy food and drink
  • Bio, organic, functional food and dietary supplements
  • Shopping and places
  • Responsibilities and goals in healthy life and children’s healthy life


  • Good health is all about balance and mental health is a key component of this. Trying to eat healthily all the time (without snacks or treats, particularly in social occasions) is actually counter productive and unrealistic.
  • Hydration seen as critically important to good health.
  • In all the countries that took part in this research, participants are turning away from the convenience of processed foods and prepared meals and recognising that home cooked food using fresh ingredients is better for them and their families.
  • In most markets, there is also a move away from artificial sweeteners back to healthier, more natural sugars (although some struggle with diet drinks / sodas in this regard). Also, there is a general move away from margarine and back to butter as a healthier choice.
  • Perceptions of foreign cuisines (particularly Chinese and Italian) are based on perceptions of how participants see these presented locally. For example, where Italian is thought of as pasta, cheese and pizza it is considered unhealthy; where Italian is linked with the Mediterranean diet of fruit, vegetables and light oils it is considered healthy.
  • Few differences are perceived between the terms Bio and Organic and the term, ‘Functional Food’ has little or no currency / meaning. Organic is the more widely understood term, taken broadly to mean free of chemicals and fertilisers.
  • When functional food is explained, participants are fine with highlighting health giving properties of foods which occur naturally, but are suspicious about foods which are ‘engineered’ to provide health benefits: this appears unnatural.
  • Overall, participants were willing to pay marginally (but not substantially) more for healthier foods (including bio / organic products), but have concerns around paying for what’s on the label rather than a higher quality product with more nutritional benefits.