Customers’ health goals shifted throughout a year like no other, with exercise booming through the summer of 2020 and dropping off in the winter. Other health goals also changed, with consumers focusing on both physical and mental health.

Health goals shifted in the run up to Christmas

Dieting declined in importance after summer 2020, with those actively trying to lose weight declining 20% after August. This decline is likely driven by the impact of Covid restrictions and other factors becoming a focus.


In our 2020 Christmas and New Year Review  we saw some of the big category winners in December that weren’t health focused reflecting that less than half of customers saw trying to lose weight as a priority.

I am actively trying to lose weight %

Customers are now less likely to be looking for healthy options

Less focus on dieting has meant that making healthy food choices tailed off towards the end of 2020 and hit our lowest recorded levels going into 2021.


It is unclear how long this trend will last, but it is difficult to envisage a return to the peak of September 2020 in the immediate future, especially with affordability being a driver of buying more healthy produce. As discussed in our 2020 paper Winning in Grocery during and after Covid  the impact of Covid has caused a polarisation in spend which is likely to continue.


"I aim to make healthy food choices wherever possible" – September 2020


"I aim to make healthy food choices wherever possible" – January 2021


"I am consciously eating healthier food nowadays" – September 2020


"I am consciously eating healthier food nowadays" – January 2021

Since the height of May those exercising at least twice a week has declined 15%. This is likely to be driven by winter as much as lockdown with January and February 2020 seeing a similar level of exercise to now.

I do some form of exercise at least twice a week

The current lockdown has made people focus more on their mental health

Despite declines in dieting, healthy eating and exercising, improving mental wellbeing has increased 21% as a goal for 2021 vs summer 2020 with nearly half of people now thinking about their own mental wellbeing. With the link between physical and mental health never clearer, it is not unreasonable to expect the increase in people caring about their wellbeing having an impact on healthy eating and exercise over the coming months, especially as we exit winter.

% of customers who agree improving mental wellbeing was a goal
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