What’s new in the health food industry

The industry has been struggling with a lack of sales for years.

With a shortage of supply, there’s no easy way of making people buy, or even knowing how many they will.

And the latest figures show that the sector is struggling to grow at all.

The market for health food is worth around €1bn and it’s the second biggest in the food chain after the food industry. 

The figures show there are only 10,000 new outlets in the sector this year, which is a drop of around one per cent compared with the previous year.

It’s an alarming situation as it means there are now fewer outlets to fill.

The numbers show there’s still a lot of work to be done. 

“The health food sector is in the process of shrinking.

We need to do a better job of attracting and retaining customers, and to encourage them to come back to us,” said Gerta Van Hoorn, chief executive of the European Association of Food and Beverage Marketers.

“That’s the most important thing for us to do.”

The latest figures also show there were just 7,700 new health food shops opening in 2017. 

That’s a drop in the ocean compared with 2016.

The number of outlets opened in 2016 was nearly double that in 2017 with more than 14,000 outlets opening.

The figures also reveal that the number of people seeking advice on food safety is also down.

There were 7.5 million visits in 2017, down from 8.2 million in 2016.

“We know that in general people are not eating healthier.

They are consuming more unhealthy foods,” said Ms Van Hoorns.

“This is particularly true for the elderly, as they consume more processed foods.

We have to do something about that.” 

Food safety concerns were also highlighted by the latest data, as well as the fact that there were fewer cases of stomach cancer in the UK than in other EU countries.

This is not good news for consumers.

 “People are going to go to the shops because they are afraid to,” said Sarah Bresnan, CEO of food company The Body Shop.

“But it’s a big worry, especially if they’re not being helped by their GP or by other healthcare professionals.”

The biggest problem, she said, was that people had little knowledge of how to safely consume their food.

“If they are not being told about the best way to eat their food, then they are going back to shops and putting their food out,” she said.

“People need to have more awareness of how safe their food is.” 

The UK Food Standards Agency said the latest statistics also show a “significant drop” in the number, and the risk of, food poisoning.

This includes food poisoning linked to raw meat, seafood and fresh fruit.

“The FSA is very concerned about the growing number of reported food poisoning cases in the United Kingdom, particularly in rural areas, where the food supply is not adequately supervised,” a spokesman said.

The latest figures come as the European Union launched its biggest food safety investigation in its history.

The EU Food Safety Agency said in a statement that it was “ready to make progress”.

“Our task is to investigate and share all available information, to improve and update our existing systems, and ensure the new ones have the necessary support to tackle this growing challenge,” it said.

The report into food safety comes just days after the UK Government said it would introduce a law to tackle the food and drink industry’s food crisis.

Its Food Standards Code would create a framework for “responsible food production, storage and distribution”.

It would also provide guidance to consumers and businesses.

This is a key part of the Government’s commitment to tackling the food crisis, which has caused more than 10 million people to go hungry over the last three years.

The UK government has been criticised for not doing enough to tackle food fraud, which was the biggest problem.

The Government has also been criticised by industry groups for not supporting the growing sector of food retailing, which relies heavily on the food sector for its business. 

But despite the huge amount of work still needed to be put in place, Ms Van Hoecks hope is that the industry can help improve things.

“The industry has a lot to do to help us get to a more healthy and sustainable food environment,” she added.

“The industry is a really important part of our economy, it is a vital part of every aspect of our lives, so I’m really hoping that it can help.

More to come…

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