In efforts to help South Africans move towards a better food future, Knorr teamed up with Nielson to investigate how and what the nation is eating, and how it impacts the health of our country.
Hosted by renowned speaker and founder of Innate Investment Solutions Lynette Ntuli at the Plate of the Nation virtual round table this week, the event was aimed at looking into the issues around the eating habits of the South Africans and what solutions are needed to ensure food sustainability for future generations.
The main purpose of this research was to create a source of information that stakeholders can tap into to shape the health of the nation. This was the second report, with the first being released last year.
What are South Africa's eating habits?
According to the report, compiled by global measurement and data analytics company Nielsen, South Africans generally understand the main tenets of healthy eating. For example, eating vegetables and fruit.
The report showed that while 72% of South Africans claim to eat healthily with some regularity, the general eating habits of the population are out of kilter with recommendations. The report also revealed that SA has a meat-eating culture, with meat being eaten, on average four times per week, and the number of self-proclaimed “meat-eaters” having increased from 2020.
“The typical South African plate has a far greater proportion of meat and is lacking in vegetables. This is likely to be linked to the importance of traditional foods in SA. As kids are generally eating the same as their parents, a kid’s plate is also significantly lacking in vegetables. South Africans may have an acceptable repertoire of fruit and vegetables they claim to eat, it is the frequency of consumption that is the issue as well as the proportions of vegetables and fruit to meat and starch.”
“Starch is eaten six times a week, with bread, rice, potatoes, and mealie pap being the most popular. 70% of South Africans also admit to snacking in between meals. They have an average of six snacks in their repertoires, with chips being the most widely consumed Interestingly, and contrary to popular belief, South Africans do care about environmental issues such as plastic, food wastage, and climate change – although they feel inadequate in being able to tackle anything alone,” the report claimed.