For years, health advocates have urged the public to read the ingredients and ignore the marketing. For years, consumers have ignored the health advocates.
But lo! It looks as if they’re finally listening.
Food purchases are less driven these days by what’s written on the front of the box than what’s listed as ingredients, said Andrew Mandzy, director of strategic insights at Nielsen. Some consumers aren’t even reading so much as they are counting: About 61 percent said that the shorter the ingredients’ list, the healthier the product. Many are looking beyond the boxes themselves. In 2014, 48 percent of consumers went online for health information. In 2016, 68 percent did. Use of technology such as calorie-tracking apps is also up, Mandzy said.