Are You Willing to Pay More for Healthy Food?

by in Food News, Grocery Shopping, July 2, 2011
grocery store
How much are you willing to fork over at the register?

A recent study finds that Americans aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is for healthier restaurant options. Are some foods worth the extra cash?

Footing the Bill

A study published in June finds that a large chunk of Americans aren’t willing to pay more for healthy foods at restaurants. The New York based marketing research firm that published the report found that approximately 70 percent of consumers over age 50 don’t expect to pay a higher price for more health-conscious menu items. The study also points out a decrease since 2007 in overall interest in seeking out healthier fare.

There seems to be a bit more hope for younger folks (ages 18 to 24) — only 44 percent said they wouldn’t be willing to cough up more money.

Researchers recommend that restaurants increase efforts to offer healthy fare at comparable price points to other menu choices to keep customers coming back. My suggestion: restaurants could downsize large portions to help adjust costs.

Money-Saving Solutions

Eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank, use our money-saving tips when cooking at home or dining out.

Eat Out Less – Don’t rely on restaurants to be your source for healthy. Making your own meals is almost always the smarter choice.

Shop Around – When shopping for healthy foods, hit up a few different stores to find the best bargains. You don’t need to go to multiple places every week, but a few extra trips can lead to big savings.

Bulk Up – Produce, grains, spices, meat, seafood and other healthy items can come cheaper when bought in large quantities. See more tips for buying in bulk.

Cheap (Healthy) Eats – Put these 10 Foods Under $3 on your shopping list.

Go Local – There’s no doubt that fruits and vegetables are healthy parts of any diet. Buying seasonal produce from local sources is often the most affordable way to go.

Tell Us: Should healthier foods cost more? Are you willing to pay?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (1,136)

  1. Tehtnica says:

    Nice article… I think healthier foods should cost less than unhealthy alternatives so people would be more willing to buy it. Im am willing to pay a little more for it, not too much though.

  2. Bibi says:

    After rent, food is our biggest bill. We cook 5-6 days out of the week for all 3 meals. After eating out all week just a little while ago, we felt completely wiped out, lethargic and generally unhealthy—not to mention we spent about 65% more on restaurants than our "expensive" mostly organic groceries.

    I am always willing to pay more for food, because 1. I was raised that way and 2. if you don't have your health, what's the point in living?

  3. quilty.l says:

    I don't think you have to go out of your way to get "healthy" foods. People are living longer than ever before and we all live at McDonald's and fast food Mexican and Chinese places. If I had to cook I would die. I don't cook for me, my five kids or husband. We buy the stuff we really want and none of the dumb green stuff loaded with bugs and dirt. Thanks but a great hamburger from McD's or the other good places is all we need and we are healthy and have loads of energy and I am not tired out shopping and fixing stuff kids and husbands don't want to eat.
    My parents never cooked a day in their house and they lived to be 90 and 94.

  4. im_pinoy says:

    You just have to pick the right kind of foods . If you don't want to spend a lot for a healthy foods .. Then there are still a lot of options .. like Why don't you plant healthy veggies in your garden? .. It will not cost you much and you will have a healthy foods to serve.. :)

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