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Americans Won't Pay Higher Price For Healthy Food

Are You Willing to Pay More For Healthy Food?

A new study conducted by marketing research firm NPD shows that Americans are unwilling to eat healthier food if it means spending more. According to the report, the number of restaurant visits based on a consumers' cravings for healthful or light fare is down 10 percent from four years prior, and 70 percent of diners aren't prepared to pay a premium for wholesome food when they're eating out. The takeaway: health food needs to be priced more competitively.

I've always known that wholesome food is more costly than junk food, and I expect to pay a premium on it. I'm shocked by America's lack of willingness to pay more for something that's of higher value, and — in today's goat cheese salad day and age — even more surprised that the desire to dine out healthfully has actually declined over the past few years. What do you have to say about it?

Join The Conversation
danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
"The problem is that healthy foods are not subsidized while unhealthy foods like corn and the like get the benefits of being subsidized and can afford to be ridiculously cheap for many people. " Agree. The corn is subsidized to feed the animals in the meat/dairy industry. Not only is the corn subsidized, but all of the costs for the animals are as well. What a waste of money, the government should be subsidizing healthy foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, and whole grains. Honestly, in my experience, healthy food IS cheaper, if you know where to shop and if you buy what's in season. I have a Sprouts Farmers Market that I shop at, I can usually fill up my reusable Trader Joe's bag to the top with fresh produce for about $15. I look at the weekly ads online and plan meals around those. I eat cheaper than most junk food eaters I know. Many people don't realize it: Buy cheap foods now, you'll pay in the long run for health care.
nuttmegs17 nuttmegs17 6 years
I agree with gummibears. Due to food allergies (gluten the main concern and right now dairy as well - thank goodness for lactaid!)....I have to be extremely careful...I've experienced firsthand how what you eat has a direct impact on your health....knowing that, you don't go back. In my current job, I am required to go to a lot of events (dinner's etc) but so far everyone has been really accommadating and when they bring out my gluten free dairy free dish (never really know what they will make) it ALWAYS looks better than what everyone else is served, haha. I avoid grains in gerneal only bc I do so much better without. I eat them from time to time but only if it's really worth it. That helps a lot bc i do not have to buy GF bread or pastas which can add up. instead i put my money in organic, humanely raise meat and organic veggies. I buy nuts and seeds from TJ's as they are a bit cheaper.
GummiBears GummiBears 6 years
The problem is that healthy foods are not subsidized while unhealthy foods like corn and the like get the benefits of being subsidized and can afford to be ridiculously cheap for many people. The food manufacturers and the government are bed mates in this matter if you ask me.
Skorpio Skorpio 6 years
I switched to all Organic for the most part, and realistically its not costing that much more. ( I find eggs milk and cheese are a few of the only items im paying a lot for, and we dont need too much of those things) Not to mention the healthier organic version of most things taste better too!
anonymoushippopotamus anonymoushippopotamus 6 years
As a graduate student earning a salary that is below the poverty line, it's almost impossible to justify paying a premium on food that costs less to produce (i.e. organic food). Fresh produce should not be a luxury, but it is. Instead I stick to the usual cheap student food: pasta, ramen, and peanut butter and jelly. Not the healthiest, but at least I'm usually able to exercise three times a week.
ticamorena ticamorena 6 years
myself and other relatives with food intolerances/allergies have never ever bought substitutes for those foods that cause us problems because (a) you just end up with even more processed foods (b) there are ordinarily plenty of alternatives if you're willing to adapt your diet (i,e, i eat no lactose based desserts and instead have substituted fruit and nuts based desserts which are healthier and less processed plus can be bought cheaply in season) it may be less convenient and difficult for some to give up convenience foods they are used to...
ticamorena ticamorena 6 years
this crap that food manufacturers and restaurants play is infuriating! i refuse to pay more to eat healthy - i would rather eat less, or else grow my own food! seriously, some of the healthiest diets i've encountered have been those in some of the poorest countries around - using seasonal(!!) ingredients, lots of pulses, not wasting any part of the ingredient etc and just making an effort to prepare and season it really well. if we did that in the developed world our "healthy" food need not be so expensive! and most of the so-called "healthy" food in restaurants and supermarkets is processed, tasteless rubbish
amber512 amber512 6 years
I pretty much have to as well, in order to eat food that fits with my preferences and food intolerances.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
I will pay more for a healthier overall meal, but I'll admit that sometimes I cheap out when it comes to the organic veggies versus the non-organic veggies and other such substitutes.
KittyFistpumps KittyFistpumps 6 years
Its hard to pay more for healthier foods but I now don't have a choice...I have food allergies (wheat, corn, soy, walnuts) so I have to pay more just to make sure I'm safe and don't get sick.I person can buy a box of pasta and a loaf of family bread for about $2-4, while by gluten free pasta is $3 a box and a half size loaf of gluten free bread is about $7. I'm payin about $10 in comparison to the average $2-4. Its frustrating and sometimes difficult. The sad part is to some its seen as a luxury. To myself and others its just high price survival.
SarahPW SarahPW 6 years
I realize that I am in a lucky position in my life: my family can afford higher food prices. But, I would be completely willing to cut other luxuries (cable, cell phones, various gadgets) to pay for healthier food for my husband and child. We need to make healthy food (and exercise) a priority, especially for our children.
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