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30 August 2022





​​Research Reveals Consumer ‘Wellbeing Gap’​

​​New Report Shows Disconnect Between Health Intentions and Actions​

EMEA, September 1, 2022 – Eating well, exercising more, cutting stress and reducing our impact on the planet – a NEW research report from Herbalife, based on findings from Mintel, has revealed that across Europe and Africa*, we have solid intentions to enhance both our health and the world we live in.

However, despite our intentions, when it comes to our actions it seems the follow-through simply isn’t there. Whether it’s a lack of information, confusion from conflicting sources, cultural influences or simply nervousness around trying new things, something is standing in the way of us achieving our wellbeing ambitions.

Short Term Sacrifices for Long Term Goals

With 60 % of those surveyed citing eating healthily as one of their top five wellness priorities right now and 49 % listing weight management on this list, nutrition is clearly important to consumers when it comes to achieving their wellness goals.

In addition, when we look at consumers’ intentions to achieve these goals, we can see that across the countries, 72 % of those surveyed said that they would make short-term sacrifices for their long-term health. South Africans being the most willing to sacrifice what they love to achieve their health goals (88 %) while Germans were revealed to be the least compromising (just 50 %).

However, when we delve deeper into putting these goals and ambitions into practice, the research tells a different story.

A Desire to Eat Well but Confusion Over What That Entails

Despite the previous data showing that eating healthily and weight management is a key goal for many, when participants were asked how often they currently eat healthily, only 62 % said they would eat healthily most or all of the time, while a solid 38 % of people noted that they occasionally, rarely or never eat healthily. If we couple that with the fact that 27 % of those polled say they don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables and 15 % think they don’t get enough protein, we can see that our healthy eating intentions are not being matched by our actions.

Andrea Bertocco, director of scientific affairs for Herbalife in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, expands on this:

“While it’s encouraging that wellbeing intentions are clearly there, we need to look at what can be done to overcome barriers to turn this intention into reality.  There’s no doubt that eating healthily and leading a balanced and active lifestyle can be challenging with the busy lives we all lead today. That’s why a lot of this comes down to educating consumers on different options and how to achieve their wellbeing goals to fit into their lifestyles”, he says.

Adding to this, Bertocco says:

“Advancements in science mean that a ‘good diet’ doesn’t need to be three meals a days of varying food types; doing exercise doesn’t need to mean beating yourself up to go to the gym. In many ways, we need to re-frame our thinking and help consumers navigate their own wellness journey within the variety of options now available to them. Essentially, eating well doesn’t have to look the same for everyone – bespoke plans are vital to success”.

A Love For Low Sugar but a Missed Opportunity for Plant Proteins

Looking at consumer shopping habits, the research revealed that low sugar (31 %) and natural ingredients (38 %) are of the highest importance when shopping for food. While these are obvious choices for those seeking to enhance their wellbeing, it was interesting to see that avoiding animal-derived foods (6 %) and eating high amounts of protein (15 %) scored low, suggesting there is a lack of understanding globally around how these two aspects could impact longer term health.

Andrea Bertocco continues:

“Given the potential health and environmental benefits of reducing the consumption of animal products, more work needs to be done to help consumers get the right insights into how achieving a balanced diet will benefit their wellbeing both from a health and environment perspective”.

Climate Change Conscious but That’s Not Impacting What We Eat

While our own health was key, ensuring the wellbeing of our planet was also on the agenda for those polled. In fact, more than half of participants (53 %) agreed that climate change will affect the food they buy. However, this intention to make more sustainable choices then clashed with 40 % citing that they don’t eat plant-based dairy alternatives and 37 % saying they don’t eat plant-based proteins and don’t want to in the future. Clearly there’s a desire to address emissions but insights into how the meat-farming industry contributes to climate change isn’t cutting through.

Good Intentions Is the First Step in Making a Change

With these insightful findings in mind, it’s clear that we have a world with strong intentions. Consumers across every country have expressed a desire to enhance their own wellbeing and make choices that impact the planet in a positive way. However, when it comes to acting and putting these ambitions into practice, there’s a clear disconnect which is holding us back.

Whether we lack the tools, support, education or insights to make these changes, something is missing, and we must enhance these strands to help turn these positive intentions into solid actions.

If we stand a chance of tackling the global obesity epidemic or climate change (both of which pose incredibly big risks to us worldwide), we must give consumers the tools and information to help them turn their intentions into habits. This is something that we’re fully committed to at Herbalife as we seek to nourish communities through our science-backed products and education programmes”.

*Survey conducted by Mintel in July 2022 on 10,000 participants across France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the UK, with data broken down by country and age brackets to assess attitudinal differences across the generations.

Contacts of the Article

​​Robin Field
​EMEA corporate communications, Herbalife; +44 (0)7887 952891​