When it comes to healthy food products, there are a lot of misconceptions about who the actual target market is and what drives them towards healthier food choices.

Many believe that the target market for healthy food only includes people who are already health-conscious and into fitness. Or that it only includes the wealthy and those who have plenty of time on their hands to cook healthy meals.

The truth, however, is more complex.

When it comes to diet and food choices, every individual has different needs and wants. Often these conflict with each other. Businesses that want to be successful in this industry need to cater to as many of these needs and wants as possible.

That being said, there are some general trends that can be observed when it comes to the target market for healthy food. What is becoming clear is that more and more people are interested in healthy food options, and this presents a great opportunity for businesses wanting to sell into this growing market.

In this article, we will discuss who the target market for healthy food is and what motivates people to make healthier choices.

Keep reading!

Understanding the Target Market for Healthy Food AMPLIFY XL
(Image source)

What is Healthy Food?

As the saying goes – “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”. Unfortunately, the same is somewhat true with the definition of “healthy food”. What’s healthy for one person may not be healthy for another.

According to the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a healthy diet is composed primarily of foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean meats, poultry and fish and one that minimizes sugar, salt and unhealthy fats which are habitually found in industrially processed foods.

So with that as a baseline, let’s dive into our main topic which is to understand the target market for healthy foods.

What is Healthy Food

Motivations of the Target Market for Healthy Food

To understand the target market for healthy food we will analyze the reasons that make people choose healthy food over unhealthy food.

The main reasons are:

  1. Health concerns
  2. Weight concerns
  3. Appearance
  4. Parents concerned for their children
  5. Environmental concerns

1. Health Concerns

The top reason why people choose healthy food over unhealthy food is that they are worried about their health. Choosing healthy food is usually not an automatic decision. It is often forced upon people because of a health scare or diagnosis. For example, after being diagnosed with Type II diabetes, many people switch to a strict diabetic diet in order to manage their blood sugar levels.

Health concerns can also arise from simply observing others’ health problems. When someone close to us is diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, or any other life-threatening illness, it can cause us to reevaluate our lifestyle and diet choices. We may start to think more about the types of foods we are putting into our bodies and whether those foods could be contributing to our health problems or making them worse.

There are also many studies that have linked unhealthy diets with various diseases and health conditions. For example, eating a lot of processed foods and sugary drinks has been linked with an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, and Type II diabetes. Conversely, consuming fruits and vegetables has been associated with a lower risk for these same diseases.

So overall, the top reason why people switch to healthy foods is that they are worried about their health. They may be worried that they will get sick if they don’t start making better food choices. Or, they are trying to avoid getting a specific disease or condition that runs in their family.

2. Weight Concerns

Many people who are overweight or obese choose to start eating healthy foods in an effort to lose weight. In fact, according to research conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and published on the CDC website, dieting is a top motivator for changing eating habits among adults in America.

When people choose healthy foods for health or weight concerns they are expressing a need – a need to get healthy, a need to lose weight. Marketers are able to earn customer loyalty by focusing on this need to consume healthy food because if the customer achieves their health objective they are bound to remain a customer for life.

3. Appearance

Most people are conscious of how they look and even more so of how others perceive them. And so people tend to turn to exercise and diet to improve their appearance.

The objective can be to lose weight, gain muscle, or simply to maintain their current physique. The healthy foods industry has latched onto this idea and created an entire market around it, which is why there are now so many healthy food options that are targeted towards those looking to improve how they look.

From a marketing standpoint, ‘looking better’ is a direct benefit or perceived benefit that is touted by many healthy food products. In this marketing tactic, companies segment the market based on benefits as perceived by the potential customer. Such customers are usually willing to pay more, which is why healthy food products are often sold at a premium compared to their unhealthy counterparts.

The Market for Healthy Food

4. Parents concerned for their children

All parents everywhere prefer to give their children healthy food whenever possible because they want their children to grow up healthy.

But when it comes to marketing healthy food products made for children, marketers face two customers – the parents and the children. And both have opinions that often differ from each other.

Parents are concerned about what their children are eating and they want to provide them with the healthiest possible options. So, they often look for healthy foods, healthy snacks as well as healthy drinks, especially if their child has allergies or dietary restrictions.

But even when parents do find healthy food products for their children, they can be reluctant to buy them either because the products are expensive or because they are concerned that their children won’t like them and eat them. Or they may turn to nutritional supplements instead of to healthy food options.

So the ongoing challenge for marketers of healthy food for children is to find the right balance between making parents feel confident that they are providing their children with a healthy option and making sure that the product is something that children will actually want to eat.

5. Concerns for the Environment

Unhealthy food products are not just bad for humans, they can also be bad for the environment. This is because most unhealthy food products are processed and factory-made. Making anything in a factory consumes a lot of resources, from the machines that are used to the fuel that is burned. And all of this creates pollution, heat and waste that takes a toll on the environment.

Healthy food products, on the other hand, are typically made in smaller batches and with more natural ingredients. This makes them better for the environment because they require fewer resources and create less pollution. In that sense, healthy food can be considered a green product in more ways than one.

Furthermore, there is a growing trend to get healthy food products from local producers. This means the healthy options need to travel shorter distances to get to the consumer, which is better for the environment. On the other hand, factory-produced foods are often shipped from far away places and leave a much larger carbon footprint.

So a growing number of people are switching to healthy food not just because they believe it is good for them but also because they believe it is good for the environment.


In summary, there are many reasons why people are motivated to eat healthy foods. Some people do it for their health, others do it for weight loss or for their looks. And still, others do it to help the environment. But no matter what the reason, people who switch to healthy foods are more likely to stick with their new diet if they feel like they’ve achieved their goal – whether that is a healthier body or simply being able to fit into a smaller size of clothing.

For marketers, this means that they need to focus on the benefits that their product provides and communicate those benefits in an effective way. Additionally, it is important to target potential customers based on their individual motivations for wanting to eat healthy foods. This will help ensure that the customer feels understood and is more likely to make a purchase.

Thank you for reading!