Based on a report on healthy eating carried out by Google with data from searches registered in the search engine, together with the information from a survey made with 2,500 people and data from the consultants Kantar and Lantern, it has been concluded that the interest of Spanish consumers in healthy eating has skyrocketed in recent times. The trend, stronger among women and young people, shows notable differences by regions, with Madrid and the Mediterranean coast (especially Catalonia) leading the way.
The food category in general motivated 129 million Google searches in the last year in Spain. This figure puts it below other categories, but entails a 13% growth, which is a significantly higher increase than that of other categories, such as fashion or consumer electronics, according to the authors of the report.
Under the idea of eating healthy, the study includes three concepts: healthy eating in general, with 5.4 million searches; products for people with coeliac disease, with 1.6 million; and veggie food, with 1.3 million.
The growth in the three categories stands above average, since searches about healthy foods grew by 22%, those about coeliac products by 30%; and those about veggie food by 14%. The searches are also reflected in the purchases, since 42% of Spanish households bought some “bio” or “eco” product in the last year, and the number of vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians already accounts for around 8% of the population aged over 18.
According to the data, almost two thirds of these consumers are interested in this kind of foods because of healthy reasons, for aesthetics or for environmental awareness, and not for medical advice due to allergies or intolerances.
63% of searches are carried out by women, mostly without children, and 38% correspond to people between 18 and 35 years old. 70% of them are carried out on mobile phones.
The vast majority of searches are generic and only 7% are accompanied by a brand. In the latter case, Mercadona appears on average in about 80% of them, well above Carrefour and Lidl, both below 10%.
Services to companies with big data
The head of Digital Retail Strategy at Google Spain, Mavi Nafría, stressed that the company is already working with supermarket chains and manufacturers to help them reach their customers better. Among other services, Google gives information to companies on how product searches or recipes end up resulting in visits to physical stores thanks to geolocation via GPS. These indicators contribute to measuring the impact of ads and other advertising solutions, said Nafría.