Sunday, 8 November 2009

The pie re British Blokes state of health..

Can pie or pasties ‘face’ the challenge of cosmetic surgery and a healthier British bloke?
Before we answer this "eyebrow-raising" question, here are some interesting facts to consider:
■ 65% of the UK population seek
food-related products to provide a
health benefi t
■ 14% wish to lose weight
■ 8% of males now have facial
cosmetic surgery
■ 19% look for health in later life
■ 17% strive for sensible all-year round
Health is now the primary driver behind meal occasions consumed in and out of the home for one in five people. That equates to 15.2bn meal occasions and it’s growing by 5% year-on-year. So does this healthy shift mark the demise of perceived less healthy products such as the pie and perhaps herald the end of the pastie craze? And how on earth do male cosmetics come into the equation?
Demand for male cosmetics has resulted in a year-on-year boom in male cosmetic products of 38%. That level of growth has occurred every year since 2002 – many bakers can only dream of such rises. Why? Because British males have more dough to spend on their appearance, despite the recession, looks are in. That apparently useless fact can help us judge the consumer spends of the future. One can actually transform this into meaningful data to reflect trends affecting the pastie/pie market. A new slant on the pie chart!
What this shows us is that as men invest in skincare products,they are increasingly conscious of how others perceive their appearance.
Haircare can lead eventually to body care. Thus begins a journey where men think more about their dress sense. Then along comes some form of body awareness:
the journey- bloke joins the gym, bloke runs a bit more, bloke drinks more water and less booze, bloke starts to eat a sensible diet and consumes more salads and veggies. Pie and chips drops out of the routine and it’s an exit for the weekly pastie treat.
The British male wants to look younger, act younger and strut his stuff in the latest garb. Be aware, he is watching his waistline and counting his wrinkles. This information counters the government view that we are all getting fatter.
So, as we approach 2010, with concerns on health, recession, labels with sugar E numbers and fat warnings everywhere, the male is looking trimmer, he’s diet smart and he’s watching his body beautiful in the mirror. The health-conscious ageing UK population – those over 50 – are also in huge growth and sales of all those savoury pastries are declining, or are they as recession may force us the other way. Indulgence and reward are entrenched human traits, so I, for one, suspect that the pastie will survive. Plus the target market of the fancy designer pastie chains is not getting fatter, nor are shoppers in the pricey deli sections of the supermarkets.
But bakers and food manufacturers will still need to stay ahead of the game. The pastie of the future will probably need to have Omega-3 in its enzyme-enriched, calcium-enhanced pastry and the ingredients will include ginseng and other brainimproving, ethical, planet-friendly stuffings – no doubt sourced from the local organic pig farmer!
What this spells out is that the baker has to get his NPD (New Product Development) hat on, think outside the proverbial donut box and consider how to get a guiltfree pastie into those healthier males. ■

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