Healthy eating trend hurts big food brands

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COLUMBIA - The Most Powerful Women Summit held a panel discussion on Tuesday that kicked off with reporting the $18 billion loss in market share the top 25 food and drink companies suffered in the past five years. 

The panel went on to discuss how millennials are the cause of this shift in market power as they seek out foods with simpler ingredients.

Transparency is the generation's priority when purchasing food. 

"It's actually really nasty when you think about what's in some of these packaged foods," Lucky's Market shopper Erica Simons said. "You hear all of these recalls on things and you have to wonder why."

Simons said she and her fiance decided to switch organic and all-natural foods when they had their first child.

"I want my children to be healthier," Simons said. "I want them to have the best opportunities they can and that starts with what they're taking in. If I can't say it, my kids don't need to be eating it."

Jennifer Bean, an assistant teaching professor in MU's nutrition and exercise department said the healthy eating trend won't yield positive results without consistency.

"If you worry about eating clean because it's the cool thing to do and then just stop after a month, that won't help," Bean said. "Health trends don't really mean healthier people. They're just trends."

Bean said society is so focused on finding a quick, easy solution to being healthier when there isn't one.

"It's not sexy, glamorous or pretty looking," Bean said. "It's eating good fibers, fruits and vegetables and taking care of yourself. That's the answer. Everything else is a marketing campaign."

Bean said people should also be cautious about what they assume to be healthy because labels can be misleading.

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