January is a month during which many people commit to losing weight and getting healthier.

After excessive eating and drinking over the holidays we are determined to start the New Year with less consumption and more exercise. These attitudes certainly affect the retail space as consumers are well informed and opt for food and drink that support, or at least do not counteract their goals.

GlobalData’s 2016 Q3 survey has made some interesting findings about what consumers do in order to lose weight. The survey determined that the most preferred methods for weight loss globally were following a healthier meal plan, and exercising more, each highlighted by 58% of respondents. Eating smaller portions and snacking less were also particularly important with 53% and 50% of consumers, respectively, choosing these methods. It was evident that the majority of consumers thought of following popular dietary plans and taking dietary supplements as fads, with only 8% reporting to use these methods.

Consumers’ opting for healthier food and drink, especially in the post-festive period could lead to a decline of sales in indulgent categories, such as confectionery and snacks. To stay relevant, Mr Kipling, for example, has introduced a reduced-sugar cake range. The cakes not only contain less sugar, but are also made with real fruit and only natural colours and flavours. Although in general people don’t like thinking about calories and ingredients when indulging in sweets, the range is likely to appeal to many, especially in this time of the year.

Also this month, Public Health England launched a campaign to encourage parents to look for healthier snacks of no more than 100 calories for their children. The health body named biscuits, cakes, pastries, buns, sweets, juice and fizzy drinks as unhealthy, and warned parents that they should opt for fruits and fromage frais.

In line with this, manufacturers are expected to start coming up with snacks and treats for kids that comply with this policy and are clearly marketed as such. Fruit crisps and small yogurt portions will be popular choices for mindful parents but products, similar to Mr Kipling’s new range, will also stand a chance, at least occasionally.

At this time of the year, confectionery and snacks brands have to be creative and offer consumers new product alternatives that feature less calories and sugar, and as many natural ingredients as possible. While dietary supplements for weight loss are not seen as convincing, consumers will be keen to see ingredients that support weight-loss, added to food and drink.