Healthy food is getting plenty of attention in Great Britain. The higher income brackets and young people particularly value a healthy lifestyle and the food that goes with it more and more, and they're also prepared to pay for it. On the other hand, there's a large group of British – over half of the population – with an unhealthy lifestyle, unhealthy food, overweight and the lifestyle diseases that come with it. Public health and healthcare are the keywords here.
Demand for special products rises
British retailers respond to the health trend with a large and varied range of health foods at the upper end of the market. In addition to the traditional Organic and Free Range, new market segments are appearing, such as Free From, all sorts of ethnic cuisines and Super Foods, such as coconut milk and vegetable juices, said to possess almost magical health effects. The profit margins on these products are generally good. This market segment offers, provided one comes with the right product at the right time, good opportunities, because according to LEI, a lot of revenue can be achieved in Great Britain with new products.
Discounters also focus on healthy food
It's more difficult to come with innovations at the lower end of the market. The price competition is fierce, and consumers also need to be prepared to change their behaviour: fresh products instead of cheap ready-made meals with a lot of fat and fillers. In the last half year, a shift has started, British retailers are attempting to push healthier ready-made meals. Aldi and Lidl, which are growing strongly at the expense of the middle bracket of British retailers, are putting themselves out there with healthy and affordable fresh produce.
Traditionally, the Netherlands is strongly represented on the British market in fresh produce, fruit and vegetables, pork and poultry. Often products with a low degree of self-sufficiency. The Netherlands is successful, especially with the current pound exchange rate, in competing for price/quality. The consumer still has a strong emotional preference for British here, however. With innovatively processed products, that's less prominent, so the British consumer accepts those readily.
E-retail takes off
The Netherlands is relatively strong in innovative production methods and system (chain) innovations, the British are strong in introducing new products on the market and developing new sales channels. E-retail is a lot more prominent on the British market than in the Netherlands, growing fast (15-20% a year), especially in urban areas. That offers opportunities for Dutch producers.
The entrepreneurial climate in Great Britain is among the best in the world, also in the food industry. That also applies to start-ups. Important for these companies is that many venture capitalists are based in the United Kingdom. That provides opportunities for Dutch start-ups wanting to grow.
Source: Holland UK Trade