Arla Foods survey reveals significant nutrient knowledge gap among Northern European consumers

636843556219340900group people buffet social.jpg

29 Jan 2019 --- About 4 out of 5 people across Northern Europe are not aware of the nutrients they consume in their daily diet, new Arla Foods research has revealed. Forty percent of consumers admitted they felt they lacked some essential nutrients and roughly 50 percent did not understand the importance of dairy as a source of vitamins and minerals. The survey was conducted by the YouGov analysis institute.

A total of 7,200 computer-assisted web interviews (CAWI) took place across Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the UK, with respondents aged 18+ during the period of 18 December 2018 and 11 January 2019. 

The findings also revealed that 25 percent of people may skip a meal, despite feeling hungry, and 37 percent of this group cited saving time as the reason. Sixty percent of the respondents did not recognize dairy products as sources of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, protein and B vitamins.

Despite 51 percent of the respondents claiming to be “healthy eaters,” the study found that there is still a lot of ground to be covered when it comes to understanding what we consume and why. The study highlights the need to understand what the food we consume contains in order to shop and subsequently eat healthier, the dairy ingredients company notes. 

“It’s clear from the research that there is still a lot to educate consumers on when it comes to nutrition. The demand to live healthier is constantly increasing, yet we can only do this when we truly understand our food and the impact that food has on our body,” says Hanne Søndergaard, Chief Marketing Officer at Arla Foods.

Click to EnlargeSøndergaard says that food literacy needs to be improved so people can compose meals which are rich and varied in essential nutrients. 

“Consumers are constantly demanding new experiences from their food and new trends are emerging all the time. Our vision is firmly rooted in bringing the nutritional benefits of milk into concepts that meet these demands and ultimately help consumers understand how dairy can be part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle,” Søndergaard notes.

Food confusion is prevalent across Europe and the survey uncovered that 2 out of 3 Brits believe that whole milk contains more than 10 percent fat when it actually contains under 4 percent, while semi-skimmed milk contains even lower levels of about 2 percent. 

Three-quarters of Swedes do not recognize dairy products as a protein source, while only 40 percent of overall respondents recognize that cow’s milk is high in protein. 

Roughly one in three people in Denmark have eliminated a specific food from their diet, and overall 34 percent of respondents have completely cut out foods they believe are not part of a healthy diet. The food most respondents (40 percent) choose to cut out is sugar, as they believe that omitting it will make them healthier. 

In Germany, 25 percent of consumers eat one main meal a day and in Sweden and Denmark, more than 40 percent of people admitted to skipping lunch, while overall 50 percent of total respondents say they skip it, due to hectic schedules. 

“As a leading dairy company, we seek to develop improved products and new initiatives that can inspire better health in everyday life. This means that we have both a responsibility and an opportunity to make a difference to global diet-related health challenges,” concludes Søndergaard.

The company has released a number of products that are touted as promoting health, ranging from sports nutrition to infant nutrition and even products that claim to control blood sugar

To contact our editorial team please email us at

Related Articles

Health & Nutrition News

Gut appeal: Healthy microbiome thanks to food processing waste

15 Feb 2019 --- New research from Maastricht University (UM) has uncovered a novel use for waste from the food processing industry: boosting the microbiome. Using the TNO in vitro model of the colon (TIM-2), research by Carlota Bussolo de Souza has shown that fermenting fiber from fruit and vegetable peel can help improve the gut flora of people with obesity.

Health & Nutrition News

False energy boosting claims? Dextro Energy advert deemed misleading by UK advertising watchdog

15 Feb 2019 --- The UK’s advertising watchdog, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), has ruled that a recent advertisement for Dextro Energy Glucose Tablets wrongly implies that the product has energy boosting capabilities and exaggerates the product’s vitamin C content. An energy boosting claim would need to be authorized on the EU Register of nutrition and health claims made on foods to be allowed.

Health & Nutrition News

“Ready for the keto comeback”: Abitec Corporation pegs keto-friendly ingredient range

15 Feb 2019 --- Nutritional and functional lipids manufacturer Abitec Corporation is “close to launching” an MCT powder on a fiber carrier that will be keto friendly and dairy free. This comes as there is huge market potential for its portfolio of keto-friendly ingredients, as the diet’s popularity continues to spike.

Health & Nutrition News

Weekly roundup: Ulrick & Short launches “scilia” range of insoluble fiber, PURIS partners with Midwestern BioAg

15 Feb 2019 --- In nutrition news this week, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Director General, Dr. Shenggen Fan, has become a member of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Food Systems for Nutrition. Food Supplements Europe (FSE) welcomed leading European trade bodies AFEPADI, SANI, SFSA and SISTE, and Australia-based Swisse Wellness in order to make positive contributions to the supplement sector. PURIS has entered a partnership with Midwestern BioAg (MBA) to promote organic farming in the US and Ulrick & Short has launched “scilia”, a range of insoluble fiber ingredients.

Health & Nutrition News

Resilient in nutrition: DSM reports “very strong” 2018, reveals €1 billion buyback strategy

14 Feb 2019 --- DSM has reported a “very strong year,” including robust Q4 figures, organic sales growth of 6 percent and adjusted EBITDA up 26 percent, including €290 million (US$327 million) due to temporary exceptional vitamin effects. With Q4 core profit topping expectations, the company has announced that it will buy back €1 billion in shares.

More Articles