The World Health Organization (WHO) says by 2050 there are going to be an additional two billion more people than they are now on earth. Meanwhile, today’s agriculture cannot deliver enough food to meet that need. Delivering sufficient food to a national population and to the whole world’s population is a priority for all countries, whether developing or developed.

Also, The United Nations (UN) has set ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture as the second of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the year 2030. However, eating healthy is becoming an expensive luxury in emerging market countries. On the other hand, the costs of highly processed ready-to-eat meals are dropping.

Reportedly, processed food is getting cheaper because industrial conglomerates have become more efficient in taking cheap ingredients and turning them into food. Consumption of processed foods now accounts for nearly 60% of total daily energy intake. Accordingly, Real Research published a survey on trends in the consumption of processed foods. Here are the results.


  • 46.55%  request the use of quality ingredients when manufacturing processed foods.
  • The most consumed processed foods are meat, eggs, fruits, and seasoned marine products.
  • 41.98% prefer purchasing processed foods online to save their time.
  • Instead of healthy and quality products, most respondents consider pricing the most when purchasing processed foods.

Request for Quality Ingredients in Processed Foods

To begin with, results derived from the Real Research online survey application show that  33.58% purchase processed foods every day. This is followed by 16.82% who say once a week and 11.89% who opt for 2-3 times a week. With these results combined, it is certain that the consumption of processed foods is over 60% on a weekly basis.

However, respondents are not happy with the ingredients being used in manufacturing processed foods.  Results on the Real Research online survey application reveal that 46.55% request the use of quality ingredients in processed foods.

Processed foods lack good ingredients
Figure 1: Processed foods lack good ingredients

Moving on, 6.14% require diversity in the products and ingredients. Additionally, 5.25% want various flavors in processed foods. Following after is 4.62% said to develop high nutritional products. Consumption of processed foods is on the rise. Hence, people require more use quality and nutritious ingredients in order to keep healthy.

Frequently Consumed Processed Food Products

Ideally, almost everyone prefers to shop from the farmers market every day for fresh, local foods, and prepare all the food from scratch. However, in reality, people are consuming processed foods more than ever. The Real Research survey sought to know which processed food products are consumed the most.

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29.96% consume ‘Meat products’ (sausage, ham, bacon, etc). More so, 14.48% note that they consume egg products more. Following after is 6.77% who say they consume fruit products. This includes jam, dried fruits, vegetables, etc. To add on, 5.81% say ‘Seasoned marine products’ (fish cakes, salted fish, canned sardine/mackerel, etc).

Most consumed processed food products
Figure 2: Most consumed processed food products

People Consider Price More Than Safety or Quality When Purchasing Processed Foods

Amazingly, results have shown that people consider pricing the most when purchasing processed foods. Out of the list given in the survey, the majority (28.66%) say that it is the price they consider the most.

Following then, 17.32% state that they consider taste. Additionally, 14.62% note that they consider the quality of the processed food. A lesser percentage (6.22%) take note of safety when purchasing processed foods. To add on, 5.42% say that they prefer freshness.

Price is the most considered factor when purchasing processed food
Figure 3: Price is the most considered factor when purchasing processed food

Online Purchasing is Better than The Traditional Physical Shopping

59.84% of the respondents have purchased processed foods online in the past year. Meanwhile, 40.16% state that they have not purchased processed foods online. The survey further went on to ask why people prefer online purchasing instead of visiting the store.

Reasons why people purchase processed foods online
Figure 4: Reasons why people purchase processed foods online

The majority of the respondents (41.98%) state that purchasing online saves time than visiting the store physically. Also, 10.48% say it is convenient to be able to compare prices and do the shopping. More so, 4.01% say ‘I’m not constrained by shopping hours’. Therefore, online shopping comes as an advantage for most people.

Compromised Quality When Shopping Online

On the other hand, there are respondents who answered that they have never purchased processed foods online. 35.43% say ‘I can’t trust the quality when purchasing online. Thus, when they personally visit the store they have easy access to healthy processed foods that are not compromised. Even more, 8.31% note that they do not get enough information about products online. More so, 5.75% say they find it difficult to exchange or return the products. Furthermore, 5.71% say that they cannot wait for their order to be delivered.

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Reasons why other respondents do not purchase processed foods online
Figure 5: Reasons why other respondents do not purchase processed foods online

In conclusion, some basic processing is necessary to ensure the safety of perishable items such as dairy, meat, and fruits. The concern mostly lies in ultra-processed foods. Minimally processed foods are usually not harmful. However, ultra-processed foods that include chemicals, colorings, sweeteners, and preservatives can be unhealthy.


Survey TitleSatisfaction Survey on Trends in Consumption of Processed Foods
DurationAugust 24 – August 31, 2021
Number of Participants50,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating CountriesAfghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong-Kong), China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco,Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.