WORLD – At a time when demand for healthy and functional foods seems to be the vogue of the day, new five-year study from New Nutrition Business has revealed that rather unusual trend about fat consumption.

According to the study, fat whose popularity has been diminishing is gaining some of its lost love back with about a third of consumers between ages 18 to 44 saying they want to eat more of it.

The research further revealed a disconnect between older and younger consumers with only 23% of those between ages 55 to 64 saying they are interested in introducing more fat into their diets.

New Nutrition Business’ additional survey findings also found a near-equal proportion of shoppers agree with one of the following two statements: “fat is not bad” (9%) and “all fat is bad” (8%). 

This shows a mixed attitude towards fats, with a significant portion of the younger population accepting while another shunning it as an unhealthy product.

The increased demand for fat has coincided with consumers shunning carbs and sugar. People are increasingly linking the consumption of these food groups with unhealthy eating habits, and are actively working to eliminate them from diets.

About 16% of Americans said fat is most likely to cause weight gain, while 48% said it was carbs and sugars, according to the study.

Sarah Schmansky, vice president of Nielsen’s fresh and health wellness division, said last year 50% of consumers planned to limit their sugar intake by purchasing “no sugar added” products.

 At the same time, low-carb diets including keto, which also extol the virtues of fats, have surged in popularity.

Butter also has gained ground, thanks to shoppers avoiding more processed alternatives, including margarine.

As younger consumers are embracing more fat in their diets, companies are releasing products to cater to that demand.

These include General Mills’ Oui brand, which is launching a crème fraîche product, and Love Good Fats, which recently closed a $10.7 million funding round to expand its reach. Old-fashioned butter has also seen a surge in demand.

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