People, Planet and Price Part 1: The Health Crisis

People, Planet and Price Part 1: The Health Crisis

We are currently in the midst of a combined health, financial and climate crisis. Not only is this stressful for consumers, it can also prove to be challenging for retailers who may be struggling to meet all of their shoppers’ complex and rapidly evolving needs.

In the first of our two-part series we take a look at the current health crisis, and how retailers can help shoppers eat more healthily on a budget.

People & Price

The World Health Organization defines health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being’. Research has shown that our diets are not only linked with our physical health, but also our mental and social health.

Currently, there is a global issue with healthy weight maintenance, with worldwide obesity rates having almost tripled within the last 50 years1  and increasing the risk of related diseases. Couple this with growing malnutrition issues, and the worldwide economic impact is enormous.  

To add to this predicament, data suggests that food insecurity is also rising. In the United Kingdom, for example, reports show that 92% of people have found their grocery bill has increased, and 39% are actively cutting back on their grocery shop2

The Broken Plate Report 2021 found that ‘the poorest fifth of households within the United Kingdom would have to spend 40% of their disposable income on food if they were to meet the Eatwell Guide recommendations’. The report stated that there is a ‘need to make healthier options more available, affordable and accessible’. 

Three ways retailers help their customers with the dual issues of affordability and health:

1. Signpost the frozen aisle
We might always think that ‘fresh is best’, however when fresh fruits and vegetables are stored, some of the micronutrient content will reduce over time as vitamins are lost. Research has shown that frozen foods have similar or slightly higher in some micronutrients when compared with fresh food that has been stored at home. 
2. Promote canned foods
Canned beans and pulses are a convenient way to add lean, plant based protein into the diet. Adding in a tin or two of kidney beans to a chilli is a great way to increase the fibre content of a meal, whilst reducing the cost from adding meat. And of course, it’s important to choose products where there are no added sugars or salt in the ingredients where possible.
3. Make healthy foods easier to identify
Highlighting a range of healthier foods that suit shoppers’ health and allergen needs is essential to helping shoppers live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Whether you achieve this with in-store signposting, improving online product discovery journeys, or by implementing more advanced like-for-like product swap and recommendation features, consumers are looking to retailers to make their shopping journeys faster, easier, and healthier.


Retailers can quickly and easily bolt-on plug & play solutions designed to help their customers find affordable, healthy food.

“You have to embrace technology – as a retailer and manufacturer – because the customer is king & queen. You’ve got to give them the choices and make it easier for them to shop for their families, and through technology profiling, then that can happen.”

– Andy Clarke, Spoon Guru Chairman & former Asda CEO

Intelligent solutions that work for everyone

Through its intelligent intervention products, Spoon Guru remains committed to supporting shoppers looking for products that meet their dietary needs. We work with our retail clients to enrich their product data, ensuring shoppers can view the right product at the right time. 

Our Swaps engine also highlights to shoppers on retail sites products that are considered healthier, usually at the same price point. This not only aids new product discovery, but makes healthy swaps quick and easy, with no extra cost for making healthier choices. 

We can even make recipe discovery better tailored to your customers. For example, if they are specifically looking for Vegan recipes, we’ll deliver them a range of recipes, in full with the highest level of ingredient accuracy. 

Leverage the other solutions that are around you. Yes, great – you control the platform, but if you can bolt on other pieces of technology that are going to enrich that experience, by all means do it. That is what’s going to make you different than the others.” 

– Sylvain Perrier, CEO, Mercatus Technologies

Find out more about how our innovative solutions are already making a difference:

Maisie Rowland