Study: Czechs increasingly opting for healthful foods

Photo: VirtualSteve, Wikimedia CC BY-SA 2.5

Czechs are increasingly purchasing healthful foods thanks to growth in the popularity of active lifestyles and rising salaries, as well as the fact that retailers are now offering a broader selection of products than in the past, Czech Television reported.

Photo: VirtualSteve,  Wikimedia CC BY-SA 2.5
There has been a particularly marked uptick in interest in vegetable milk, yogurts, muesli and cereal bars, while sales of both local and exotic types of fruit and vegetables have also shot up, Czech Television said, citing data from the market research company Nielsen.

For instance, raspberries and avocados sell seven times as much as they did just six years ago, while Czech consumers are also putting more blueberries, mangoes, cherries, coconut or ginger into their shopping baskets, both physical and virtual.

Revenues from what Nielsen classes as healthful foodstuffs have grown by 47 percent since 2012, while those from what it considers unhealthy foodstuffs have increased by 30 percent. Turnover from “neutral” foods has increased by 20 percent in the same period.

Enormous jumps have been recorded (albeit from a low starting point) in the sales of vegetable milk (which were up a whopping 1000 percent-plus) and plant products (500 percent).

Muesli and cereal bars (100 percent), fruit juices (70 percent) and fresh milk (50 percent) also sell considerably more than they did seven years back, Czech Television said.

However, the upswing in sales of healthful products does not mean Czech consumers have abandoned junk food. Crisps and salted nuts now sell 61 percent more than they did in 2012. Pizza is up by 50 percent and chocolate by 25 percent.

The president of the Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism, former state secretary for European affairs Tomáš Prouza, told Czech Television that the country’s retailers were responding to changes in customer preferences.

Organic foods have become a fixture of sellers’ offer, Mr. Prouza said, while foodstuffs are increasingly sourced locally.

According to Nielsen’s analysis, Czechs keen to lose weight (just under half of the total) are more likely to opt to adopt a healthier diet than to exercise more.

Czech men spend 3.6 hours a week on sports, compared to 3.2 hours in the case of women. Perhaps unsurprisingly, level of movement declines with age.

Consumers in the Czech Republic are also spending more money on bottled water than in the past. Sales of such water are highest in the Central Bohemian region (CZK 1,700 spent a year on average) and lowest (CZK 1,000) in Prague.