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Asia Pacific: Asians are keen on healthy eating, survey

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Consumers in Asia are far more likely to be interested in healthy eating than those in the western world, according to a survey of their attitude to diet and nutrition.

Researchers asked 600 consumers in Asia and 700 in the western hemisphere, including Australia and New Zealand, about their views on a range of nutrition issues.

Nearly 68% of Asians surveyed said they were “very interested” in nutrition and healthy eating, compared with 38% of the westerners.

Levels of interest in nutrition were highest in India, where 82% said they were very interested in healthy eating, and in the Philippines (71%).

However, 36% of respondents in the UK and 26% in Australia said they were very interested in nutrition and healthy eating, although in the US the figure was as high as 71%.

The survey was commissioned by Ingredient Communications and conducted by market researchers Asia Opinions.

The findings highlight the extent to which views about diet and health differ between East and West.

For example, 39% of respondents in Asia considered eating less meat to be important to achieving a healthy diet.

Only 25% of westerners felt the same way.

Accordingly, a vegetarian or vegan health claim is nearly three times more likely to influence a consumer to buy a product in Asia than it is a consumer in the west (28% and 10%, respectively).

“When it comes to healthy eating, East and West are worlds apart, even in this era of globalization,” says Richard Clarke, director of Ingredient Communications.

“This emphasizes the important of ‘glocalization’.”

“Nutrition businesses need a clear strategy that taps into worldwide mega-trends, but must remain agile enough to adapt their approach in individual markets as required.”