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Women Eat Better than Men

As part of the Upsiide 2019 Food Trends study, we examined ingredients. Our goal was to find out which ingredients are popular in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and how their popularity varies across genders and generations.

What did we find?

Healthy ingredients are more popular with women

In all three countries, women are more likely than men to like ingredients that are considered healthy, such as “Fruits”, “Leafy greens”, “Vegetables”, “Nuts and seeds” , “Yogurt” and “Super foods”; while men are more likely to like ingredients such as “Habanero pepper”, “Jalapeno pepper”, “Sausage”, “Game meat” and “Spicy sauces”. It has previously been found that men are less enthusiastic about the benefits of healthy eating than women; and women are more likely to report healthier food choices. One possible explanation cited for this phenomenon is that girls are more likely than boys to be involved in family food preparation from a young age; and thus may use those skills later in life to feed themselves more healthily.

Dairy alternatives appeal more to Millennials

All the dairy alternatives tested (“Soy milk”, “Soy cheese”, “Nut-based milk substitute” and “Nut-based cheese substitute”) score relatively poorly in all three countries, showing limited breadth of appeal. However, those ingredients do better with Millennials, who are more likely to like them than Gen Xers and Boomers. At the same time, Millennials are less likely to like “Milk” and “Cheese”. It has previously been found that milk sales in North America are declining, while sales of milk alternatives are on the rise; and that Millennials are spending less on dairy than older generations. The key factors leading Millennials to opt for dairy alternatives are health benefits, sustainability and animal welfare.

Consumers are hesitant about radically new protein sources

In all three countries, it is no surprise that “Lab-grown meat” and “Insect-based protein” are among the worst performing ingredients. Prior research has found that most consumers in Western countries reject eating insects, their reasons being disgust and other negative emotional associations. Studies about lab-grown meat indicate that the majority of consumers are actually willing to try it; however, many are unsure of using it as a replacement for farmed meat and eating it regularly, citing taste and price as major obstacles. Consumers are going to need more exposure to these products to increase acceptance.

Interested in viewing the full results and analysis?

Download the Report

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