Press Room

Nielsen And The George Institute Deliver New Health And Wellness Insights

– Preview data shows strength in no / low sugar agenda

SYDNEY: 18 APRIL, 2018 – Global measurement company, Nielsen, and medical research company, The George Institute, have commenced a new relationship that enables Australian grocery brands to better understand the impact of nutritional information on food packs, such as sugar, protein, fat, calories and recommended serving size.

Through Nielsen’s collaboration with The George Institute, for the first time the Australian grocery industry has the ability to link actual shopper behaviour with detailed food composition information. The relationship will provide never-before-seen data and insights on 100 key categories, including health star ratings and core nutritional information such as sugar content and gluten free. The new data, is now available through Nielsen’s Scantrack and Homescan products.

Nielsen research shows that health education, coupled with more availability of healthier product alternatives, is driving Australians to buy more health-related groceries, including low or alternate sugar options. As shoppers become more health conscious, both retailers and manufacturers are working to respond  to these needs.

Nielsen’s Director of Food Analytics, Sarah McKee said, “Health and wellness aspirations are increasingly influencing shopper grocery behaviours. Making this new information available to our clients enables them to have a competitive advantage; it helps them understand which brands and categories are more influenced by health-related information, so they can attract new buyers and also retain shoppers that may be looking to make a switch to suit their healthier aspirations.”

“To help our clients better understand consumers’ behaviours toward these health and wellness-related trends, Nielsen has worked with The George Institute (TGI), a global health and medical research institute, to incorporate key health and wellness attributes and insights into Nielsen’s data solutions,” added McKee.

The George Institute’s Managing Director Food Policy Division, Fraser Taylor said: “We’re delighted to be working with Nielsen. In helping food manufacturers respond to the consumer demand for healthier products, we improve the nutrition quality of the foods available on supermarket shelves every day which will in turn benefit the health of Australians.”

Preview information from the combined Nielsen and The George Institute data indicates that consumers are already showing changed purchasing habits when it comes to sugar-heavy products. Nearly three-in-ten Australians are very concerned about sugar consumption. The households most concerned about sugar consumption are those with people aged 55 years or older and small households of singles or couples without children. Females (37%) are more sugar conscious than males (33%). The concern is highest in major cities, especially Melbourne and Perth.

Increasingly, consumers are willing to pay higher prices for low sugar products. More than one fifth of sugar-concerned Australian consumers are willing to pay more for low sugar products. The trend towards low sugar products appeals to an older audience, while health claims such as organic, gluten-free and lactose-free appeals to younger demographics.

In addition, savoury biscuits, dairy dips, sparkling juices, yoghurt and nutritious snacks have seen a growing consumer preference for low sugar products.  For instance in 2017, the Nutritious Snacks category has seen incremental growth with 10% more shoppers choosing low sugar Muesli bars.

“Looking across categories we see many areas for growth in low sugar and nutritionally beneficial offerings. This is also helping categories and manufacturers find growth in a highly competitive, low growth environment. With consumers being ready and willing to buy and and increasingly pay more for healthier alternatives, the time is right for consumer-led product development in this area,” concluded McKee.


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


The George Institute for Global Health conducts clinical, population and health system research aimed at changing health practice and policy worldwide. Established in Australia and affiliated with UNSW Sydney, the Institute today also has offices in China, India and the United Kingdom, and is also affiliated with Peking University Health Science Centre and the University of Oxford. Facebook at thegeorgeinstitute  Twitter @georgeinstitute Web

Media Relations Contact:

Eleanor Saxton