25% of U.S. Adults Trying To Use Food As Medicine, Survey Shows

Chicago, IL—U.S. consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how to use food to manage medical conditions, according to new research from The NPD Group. Around a quarter of U.S. adults are trying to manage a health or medical condition by making healthy dietary choices.

Young adults aged 18-24 are particularly interested in this area, according to a press release. Last year they chose food and beverages with healthy profiles for 19% of their meals and snacks. 9% of adults say a top nutrition goal is protecting brain health; young adults were 45% more likely to express an interest in brain health products than 35-44 year-olds.

Related: Increased Unsaturated Fatty Acid Intake May Promote Brain Health in Aging Populations
Study: Mushrooms May Help Slow Mild Cognitive Decline
40% of Americans Fear Diet-Related Illness, Survey Shows

This growing interest in food-as-medicine is boosting a trend of superfoods: NPD’s press release notes that consumers have expressed interest in trying elderberry, CBD, and Mānuka honey, all of which are believed to have medicinal effects. Other up-and-comers are reishi mushrooms, ashwagandha, and microgreens.

Darren Seifer, NPD’s food and beverage industry analyst, said in the release: “There are a variety of superfoods, like kale, quinoa, and acai berry, that have mainstreamed and found their way into a myriad of foods. Rather than being one of many offering a superfood, understanding the trajectory of emerging superfoods helps food marketers be ahead of the curve in making calculated decisions about new product investments.”